lWhen we think of education, do we think of sitting in
school nine months every year until we graduate – or do we think of our life
experiences, our pain and our joy? There are many words to describe education and many forms through which
we receive it. The essence lies with what we take from our instruction and how we apply it to our
lives. The goal is to attain knowledge and wisdom; or is it discipline and diplomacy for which we
lLife has its own lessons that we
can not receive in a classroom. The “school of hard knocks” is an institution we all attend. Culture and
tradition train and guide us on our path. Many people and places serve as mentors. Aptitude, opportunity,
insight, and common sense depict the information we receive. Discernment and reason distinguish our
perceptions. It can be said that experience is the best teacher. Is there an experience that we can not
lI often wonder what exactly I am
supposed to learn and what I am supposed to teach. It is difficult to achieve such a subjective idea of
education, and harder still, to pass that down to my child. It is important to
learn how to
communicate and interact with people. It is important to learn about science,
health, history, and math. But how do any of these subjects actually train us for life,
or help us walk through it with our heads held high?
lI have come to the conclusion that
wisdom is finally realizing that I don’t know very much, and I know much more than when I thought I knew it
all. My search for higher learning and my quest for knowledge have led me only to more questions.
Learning is a life long process. The most valuable lessons come from the least expected source – life.
lWith direction and guidance I can
apply my knowledge to my life successfully. With reason and discernment, I can weed out all the
negative information that the world sends me. I can respect and honor my culture and traditions while
learning from the mistakes of the past. Through my experiences, I have hopefully gained common sense. I try to
reserve judgement and perceive the world with compassion and understanding. I acknowledge my
intuition: sensing and believing in my heart that some things in life are undefined and beyond my comprehension
or logic. My goal is to attain as much knowledge as possible, while achieving enlightenment. When I
get to that place, my education will be complete.