When a man is born blind, like Bartimeaus in the Bible, he cannot know what he has never seen. When a child grows up into a culture that has dumbed him down, educationally, he cannot know what he has not learned and does not know. That is until he has been given "eyes to see."
I was given "eyes to see" about 20 years ago when I read the presentation of a now deceased Christian writer, thinker, and teacher, Dorothy Sayers. Her lecture, The Lost Tools of Learning, was presented at Oxford University in 1947. It has become the catalyst for the recovery of a philosophy and methodology known as Classical Christian education.
It seeks to restore, generationally, a mind and method that trained our founding fathers, for example, and contributed to the flowering of western civilization.
Below I have reproduced a quoted from her essay that powerfully demonstrates, in part (imho), what we have lost.
If this wets your appetite for more, email me at the email@example.com and request the complete transcript of her lecture. It is well worth the time to read.
"For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of "subjects"; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spell binder, we have the impudence to be astonished. We dole out lip-service to the importance of education--lip- service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school-leaving age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school hours; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it."
Dorothy Sayers, The Lost Tools of Learning, Oxford, 1947