[Cross-posted] Keira Knightley says that she feels inadequate alongside better qualiﬁed actors because she didn’t go to university, according to next month’s Tatler. This is despite Miss Knightley, as Forbes revealed, being the second most highly paid actress in Hollywood. But that feeling of needing a little more is a refreshing one among the highest-proﬁle members of the acting profession.
While there are many productive citizens out there who lack university qualiﬁcations—and some of history’s greatest players also lack a degree—I say Miss Knightley’s lament serves as a better example than those ill-qualiﬁed actors who believe they are the bee’s knees without having exerted academic effort.
For even those great players in history had done their share of critical thinking rather than drift through life with whatever they knew at the end of high school.
Yet we are witnessing an occidental society that worships actors and athletes ahead of, say, Third-World charity workers and nurses.
In the fashion media it has been somewhat concerning to see Gisèle Bündchen, one of the few younger models who might append the super preﬁx to her title, being reported as ‘Tom Brady’s girlfriend’ as though she were some possession. Athletes, it seems, outrank supermodels in the mass media—even the specialist media, ironically, such as Condé Nast’s GQ. Never mind that Bündchen is the best paid model in the world: she is now grouped in as a junior member of the Brady Bunch.
I have nothing against actors and athletes, mind—they should command respect for their inspiration and their service to their countries—but I would hold back that respect if any did not further their duties by setting a positive example for young people to follow.
Tireless and continual industry and the quest for higher knowledge inspire our youth to realize their dreams. Discouraging higher education in favour of easy street is not an example we need. Some, I fear, are guilty of that with their drug habits and vice, all in view of the paparazzi.
And while some universities indulge in forcefeeding young people with facts to regurgitate, rather than have them engage in critical thinking, the mere exposure to higher learning in a ﬁeld one loves can still do wonders for a person’s potential.
For most of us, there is no easy path where we can get through on the mere cult of our personalities.
These days, Miss Knightley is making up for her feeling of inadequacy through reading, a course of action I would certainly recommend to those who might have forgone higher education.
I have lent two books to one of our assistants here who is taking a break from university because I do not want to see her put aside her knack for critical thinking.
Miss Knightley’s reading expands her horizons, which I think will set her in good stead as an actress who can look forward to a long career. This act alone shows that she should not feel inadequate: she is taking her future into her own hands and ﬁlling in the gaps that she perceives in her life. If only more of us took this self-improving route.
She is someone who has thought about herself and her goals, and her frank admission in Tatler may have more positive effects than she planned. Posted by Jack Yan, 10:27
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