Monday, April 4, 2011

Education, Then and Now

We spend 15, 20, 25 years in school accumulating knowledge, then struggle afterwards with the question, "How much of it have you used so far in earning your next $100,000?"

Bill Gates didn't finish college. Where did he get his "education"?
Photo Credit: "The Thinker" by Steve Jurvetson

Don't get me wrong. I do not mean to demean your degree or postgraduate studies. On the contrary, I wish to stimulate debate within you about your continuing education, to highlight its importance. Has education stopped? or has it continued in your life?

Education is from the root word educere, a Latin word. It means "to bring up" or to "draw out." Note that it does not mean to accumulate knowledge. It is about drawing out that knowledge to build something.

No wonder why graduation ceremonies are called commencement exercises. To commence is to start. Now that you have a degree, commencement means it is time to draw out what you've learned and build something.

What have you built in your life, so far?

College education, at best, gives you a job. Are you happy with it? If so, then I'm happy for you too. If it's what you want, feel good about your choice.

But if, for some reason, there is a yearning inside you that remains to be addressed, then what's your plan to address it? Can you address it all by yourself? or would you need a team to do it?

Do you have all the resources needed to address your yearning? Or do you need to secure them? If so, how?

Is the path clear? Do you know what to do today, tomorrow, the next day, and the days, weeks and months thereafter?

Questions, questions, questions ... they never stop. What are you going to do about that? You need to approach people and study new things in order to move. As John Wooden has said,

"Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read."

What does that statement mean to you? Does it affirm something? or does it bother you? Why? What are you going to do about it?

May your draw out from yourself that which gives you inner peace and joy.

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