Education for its own sake?

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子曰:「三年學,不至於穀,不易得也。」
Confucius said: “A man willing to study for three years without taking up an official position is hard to find.”

I’m not sure whether Confucius is complaining here that students only come to study with him for the purpose of securing a good job in the bureaucracy or is simply accepting it as a fact of life.

Should three years of education under a widely-renowned teacher be pursued for its own sake or as a means of career advancement? You decide. Given the astronomical cost of college tuition fees these days, I would suggest that the latter is a more likely answer.

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