We can learn everything that makes us capable of taking a relatively important position, and at the same time we can be quite isolated from the life which we are supposed to influence. Is this not rather like being educated at an engineering school and then, when faced with building a bridge, not knowing anything about it? But no: it is not quite like that. A person who has not studied the building of bridges properly will soon have his weaknesses made clear to him when he begins the actual work. He will prove himself to be a bungler and will be rejected everywhere. But a person who is insufficiently prepared in social life will not reveal his weaknesses so quickly. Badly built bridges collapse, and even the most prejudiced will realize that the builder was a bungler. What is bungled in social life only comes to light in the sufferings of those whose lives are regulated by it. It is not as easy to have an eye for the connection between the suffering and this kind of bungling as it is for the relationship between the collapse of the bridge and an incapable builder.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – Reincarnation and Immortality – The science of spirit and the social question – 1905