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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
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Variant translation: It is too difficult to think nobly when one only thinks to get a living.
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II

 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Many... have the wrong expectation of the profit to be derived from schooling. They think that the only purpose of schools is to prepare their children to earn a living. While that certainly is an objective to be served, it is, in terms of human values, less important than preparation for citizenship and for leading a richly rewarding, good human life. Even with regard to earning a living, ...in our high-tech economy, preparation for earning a good living is more readily secured by those who can read, write, speak, and figure well and who have learned how to think critically and reflectively, rather than by those given specialized job training...

 
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The first consideration for all, throughout life, is the earning of a living.

 
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The worst of his life is not that he thinks that it is living, but that he is satisfied with it, and the most awful thing of life is that he thinks that is how it should be. He can't understand anyone who thinks differently from him, and when he can't understand anything he says: I'm sorry, but I'm only a humble joiner. It's all he can do to accept that fact that I am studying the history of literature and Scandinavian languages: he accepts it not because I will thereby become mentally enriched, but because he thinks that it will enable me to live an easier life that he. Easier but not different.

 
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At the Throne of Glory it is not the nobly-born that are beloved, but the nobly-risen.

 
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It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.

 
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