This is just my opinion, okay, but--I think education is a function of three things:
1.Curiousity about a variety of things
2.Dilligence in investigating beneath the surface
3.Willingness to be wrong, frustrated and yet, undaunted by obstacles
Abraham Lincoln, as we've all been told a million times, came from the humblest origins. He was indefatigable about teaching himself. He learned one new word every single day. He walked miles to borrow and return books.
Let us face it, anybody can have a lazy streak right down the middle of their intellect. Laziness and a "don't care" attitude can hold down the mightiest mind. Slackers are everywhere. You can tell them easily. They are the first to excuse their own shortcomings and pretend details do not matter.
The poorest of thinkers is a poor reasoner as well. Poor thinkers have not exposed their minds to variety of thought, opinion, data and expression. The toolkit of the mentally lazy has a one-size-fits-all swiss army knife world view.
Socrates was no slouch as a thinker; but, he was humble as well. He said that he only knew one thing and that was that he knew nothing. Yet, his "nothing" is mighty indeed. He asked questions and then more questions. His curiousity was boundless.
There are two kinds of people I cannot respect.
1.The person who says, "I don't know and I don't care that I don't know".
2.The person who excuses their bad behavior by pointing to worse behavior.
All the rest of us fall somewhere in the middle of idiot----------------------genius.
As long as we "care"--we can improve our mind.