Education may be a human right. Many contend that it is. The right to seek knowledge, to learn and become enlightened is often a key part of a free society.
However, education is also a privilege. I do not mean a privilege given to a certain race, sex or group of people. Education is a privilege you earn through learning. You get out what you put into your process.
Recently, my son came home from school very upset. He’s brilliant and information is often very easy for him to retain and regurgitate. I have watched for years as he took his education for granted in little ways. Refusing to study because he already knew the material, cutting corners, fighting my attempts to help him find a better way. This day, asI picked him up from morning school I noticed he was close to tears. ‘I got a 75 on the test. Don’t say anything because I studied.’
Yes, he had begrudgingly studied for a few minutes a day when he was pushed.
He had the opportunity to learn, but he did not earn the privilege of education. In his fights, he declined it. Now, he was reaping bitter fruit and he did not like it. I attempted to comfort him by sharing that in the future, he could try a different study method. I doubt it helped much, seeing as he was indignant that his 5 minutes of forced study a day did not provide him with the A he is accustomed to.
Later that same day, my daughter came to me upset. She was struggling with Math concepts and hoped I would help her understand more clearly. I sat down and worked with her, guiding her through her homework. She was earning her education.
How do we earn our education?
As I reflect on these two situations, I ask myself what I am doing to earn my education. Opportunities to learn surround me, am I taking them? Are you?
Today, I am focusing on taking in the information around me. I’ve taken to reading articles twice to be sure I absorb the knowledge available. I then save them for at least a week as I put the knowledge into practice.
After all… Knowledge is only powerful if you put it to use.