All Education is Self-Education: In the final analysis
Education is Life-Long and Insistently Repetitive
What is Education and How Does One Obtain It?
Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in my valley, the Enchanted Valley of Mamushi. He was really, really old. Some people said he was 105 years old when he died in the 1950's. He could not read or write. But he knew all the plants, that is, the herbs, that lived and the valley, and he know what they were good for. The word "weeds" did not exist in his vocabulary. Every plant had value, he believed. He said we were not smart enough to know what the value was for every plant. When I had asthma attacks he knew which herbs would make the asthma better. When I was stung by a bee or wasp he would take a portion of the chewing tobacco out of his mouth and apply it to the wound, thereby decreasing the inflammation and the pain. He know, somehow that substances within the tobacco juice "denatured" the toxins within the bee or wasp stings, which decreased the adverse effects of the stings. The old man's brilliancy went far beyond his mastery of herbs. He was a "master of Life" in general. I once asked him,"How is it that you know so much, yet you never attended a school or learned how to read or write?" He looked me straight into my eyes, in a way that pierced my soul as he uttered these words, "Remember this, "in the final analysis, all education is self-education."" I have never forgotten this lesson. It has helped to go and come, healing people, teaching and serving human-kind, having been recognized as one of the greatest healing on the face of the earth today. I am honored, but I am humbled, because I realize that my days are numbered, and as great as I may be in the eyes of many humans, life is short, as just as this old man is only a memory in my mind, so to, will I be only a memory in the minds of a few people, when I "have gone the way of all the earth."
A final addendum before publication:
Dr. Felix Lawrence, D.D.S., DSc., and myself and another friend of ours, Jesse Dotson, traveled to Nashville, Tennessee yesterday to attend the "2501 Outreach and Assistance Conference that was sponsored by The Cooperative Extension Program of Tennessee State University, College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. By attending, and taking part in this Small Farm Outreach & Assistance Program, Dr. Lawrence and myself were able to learn how we could better serve our community. He and I both are life-long agricultural professional, having been born and raised on family farms in Franklin, Tennessee.
Dr. Lawrence and I both, attended the little Fitzgerald Negro School on Coleman Road, in Franklin, Tennessee, during Segregation. I went on to attend the little three-room, Thompson Station Negro School, in Thompson Station, Tennessee. Dr. Lawrence and I both went on to attend professional schools at the doctoral level, Dr. Lawrence, to dental school, and myself, to medical school. The covers of my degrees are displayed in this Hub for all to see. No one, except God-Almighty, expected Dr. Lawrence and I to reach the goals that we set in life, or to do the good that we have done in the world. We both are great grand sons of Black Slaves. It is okay, though. Neither of us harbor any bitterness or heat in our hearts toward any men or women, black or white, rich or poor. We stand as living examples to all young men and women (old people too, for that matter), who want to live in peace, enjoying their lives, while working to make the world a better place for all of us to live in.
We expect the best out of all of humanity, and we expect live long enough to see Peace on Earth. We grow foods to feed people, and we teach others to do the same. "And this is the Hope with which we approach the Future."