Life is a Business – Chapter 14
A series of essays on the past, the present, and the future
THE EASY WAY OR THE HARD WAY
The Foundation to Everything is Elementary School.
Reading, writing, arithmetic and personal communication skills form the basis for all careers that pay more than minimum wage-skip this and go straight to poor…period.
I was taught many years ago to not judge abilities, but rather the skill sets of individuals under consideration for employment. We may not be qualified to assess your innate ability to learn, but we can easily observe you and determine if you have put in the time and effort to master certain skills and prepared yourself to convince a businessperson to invest more time and money into you in hopes you can be profitable for the company.
Formal education, training, emotional discipline, personal grooming, combined with good language and social skills are for the sole purpose of becoming economically valuable at work (or getting the mate of your dreams).
If you are going to be a hermit and live off the land, no formal education is required, but you will have to learn some pretty harsh lessons, really quickly to survive in the wild. So, the question is: “What do you want to be in life?”
No matter how you answer that question, elementary and high school are the greatest gifts that society will ever give you. Until you are almost grown, we will provide you a free public education…if you will just take it from us! We don’t expect much from our young people, other than going to school and maybe a little part time work or chores to learn work ethic, until you get to age 21. Heck, we won’t even draft you into the Army and send you to a “tropical paradise” like Vietnam any longer!
You do not have to go to college to be educated. You do not have to go to college to be successful. You do not have to go to college to have a great life, but you desperately need these skills/personal traits in your tool belt. Why not?
Just knowing stuff is not being educated.
I was told that the red eye on Mom’s stovetop would burn me, but I was not fully educated until I touched it to find out for myself! That rule applies in love, too!
Working as a construction welder at age 19, I was wavering on going back to college when an older journeyman told me this: “95% of the people tighten a bolt into a hole…3% of the people tell them which bolt, which hole and how tight…2% know why the damn thing’s there!” “Which one do you wish to be?”
I have always wondered if the kids who have memorized the entire Webster’s Dictionary for the Spelling Bee can use the words in real life later on. Never use a word without understanding it…friends have been lost and wars started for less.
Today’s spelling bee word and sentence: Tattoo. Never tattoo a place you cannot cover up when required…it will be much appreciated at Grandparents’ Day or family wedding photos in the future. Barbed wire Granny biceps are not cool.
By Bill Hewgley