Nothing can be better than that – nothing higher. In order to be really happy, man must be in harmony with his surroundings, with the conditions of well-being. In order to know these surroundings, he must be educated, and education is of value only as it contributes to the well-being of man, and only that is education which increases the power of man to gratify his real wants – wants of body and of mind.
It is not necessary to have what is called a university education in order to be useful or to be happy, any more than it is necessary to be rich, to be happy. Great wealth is a great burden, and to have more than you can use, is to care for more than you want. The happiest are those who are prosperous, and who by reasonable endeavor can supply their reasonable wants and have a little surplus year by year for the winter of their lives.
So, it is no use to learn thousands and thousands of useless facts, or to fill the brain with unspoken tongues. This is burdening yourself with more than you can use. The best way is to learn the useful.
We all know that people living in moderate circumstances can have just as comfortable houses as the richest, just as comfortable clothing, just as good food. They can see just as fine paintings, just as marvelous statues, and they can hear just as good music. They can attend the same theaters and the same operas. They can enjoy the same sunshine, and above all, can love and be loved just as well as kings and millionaires. So the conclusion of the whole matter is, that he is educated who knows how to take care of himself; and that the happy man is the successful man, and that it is only a burden to have more than you want, or to learn those things that you cannot use.