Education as a spiritual goal was the topic of a lecture given at the Catholic University. The speaker, a priest responsible for the ongoing education of priests in the diocese of Seoul, began by saying that the majority of parents see the object of education merely as a means for getting into a good school, instead of fulfilling the promise of the English word 'education.'
The word comes, he explains, from the Latin word "to draw out." Originally, the intent of education was to nourish in each person the potential that is within, to give birth to their vocation and to develop their talents. Parents that counsel their children to go to law school, become a doctor, or to choose some other financially rewarding profession, in order to have a comfortable life, are not using education as it was meant to be used, and he wonders how many have that understanding.
A person has to have the freedom to make their own decisions, even if it leads to failure, the priest says. They should have the freedom to go their own way, keeping the portals of conversation with the parents always open. When parents decide everything for their children, there is no way of knowing what the child wants. Education for the whole person focuses on the growth of an autonomous, self-regulating individual. Practice is needed on how to accept failure, on falling and still getting up and moving on. Trials in life are good tools to help in the maturation process, to grow the personality and to discover the self.