Is Education Your Best Way to Succeed? Lessons On Accountability And Freedom of Expression
School and Education: How my Mother did It
Education in school is the ticket to a good future. My mother continuously emphasized that "education" is my wealth. The only treasure that no one can ever take away from me.
As Joseph Addison states, "Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend; abroad, an introduction; in solitude, a solace; and in society, an ornament. It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage."
In December 2009, I received the sad news from my hometown. My classmate from high school is very sick. She's a single mother of four. She and I have lost communication since I moved away from home.
After more than two decades, I was able to talk to her on the phone again. We laughed and cried as we reminisce our good old days. She jokingly complains about her painful medications. I felt the need to help ease her worries for her children. During our conversation, I made a promise that I will send her eldest child back to school to finish her Bachelors Degree in Food Technology. My friend was happy and excited to hear that. She described in many ways her fondness for her child. In my heart, I was hoping I can help provide part of her peace of mind before passing on. I learned a few days after we spoke, she succumbed to breast cancer .
I am keeping the expectation of my friend. I sent her daughter back to college and she is now in her senior year. In 2012, she finished her elective subject as one of the the best student trainees at Shangrila Hotel, Singapore.
I did not have any inkling that I am following the footsteps of my mother. She has been giving out education scholarships to friends and family during the time I was too young to remember it all. I heard about her kindness again a few months ago. One of her beneficiaries who also migrated to the United States called me on the phone. She found me, after many years of searching, on Facebook! She attested with gratitude, my mother's generosity on her education.
Yolly, a daughter from an impoverished family finished her high school through my mom's help. She migrated to the United States and now lives with her family in Montana.
Norma, a strong-willed woman finished her degree in Nursing. She worked as a nurse in Iran until the war broke out in 1980. She went back home and started her own business. She is now a self-made millionaire at 50.
Ricardo, a boy who grew up in the farm got his degree in Business. He is now an entrepreneur and employs people in his community.
They have kind words for my mother. They don't have to, but I can feel their gratitude extends to me.
Achievements of my Girls
My daughters received the same mind-set as I have regarding the importance of education. At the start of every semester, we openly discuss our objectives, like being part of the honor roll. My mother-in-law, an educator with a doctorate degree believes that the cash rewarding system motivate students to get good grades. We have been practicing this system for more than ten years and it is working well with my daughters.
The accolades that are on display at home speaks a thousand words. I dedicated part of the wall for their merits so the girls will constantly feel the recognition of their hard work in school. As my daughter states, " Mom, every time I walk past these awards, I know you are proud of us". Her statement did not mention the monetary prize but her affirmation of self-assurance speaks plenty to me.
It is a lot of hard work and sacrifice raising my girls. Sometimes, I feel all my efforts are paying off. But only time can tell if they will enjoy life's success until the end. A parent can only do as much, to teach their child to be a good citizen, to be the best they can and to live a life that will help inspire others.
Education at Home
We are advocates of education! Without it, no amount of wealth in the society can sustain the progress of the human race.
Before my mother left, she made me understand that the value of education begins at home. At age three, I started reading those beginner books with her. This is an integral part of our daily routine. Inculcating the importance of learning in a child's mind have to start at its tender age.
In her opinion, succeeding in school needs two more ingredients: Accountability and Freedom of Expression. As I have expanded my knowledge with time and age, I still use my mother's age-old principles towards my daughters' education. The effectiveness of her formula has transcended my time.
The 2 additional ingredients to succeed in education:
- Accountability -My girls know that they are accountable for their own actions. They have to own up to their mistakes, learn from it and say sorry. Our support and motivation for them to get an education is only worth the extent of their own efforts. To go far, their intellectual progress has to be nurtured and taken cared of.
Therefore, accountability for getting an education should mutually come from the child and the parent. Or the child and the mentor. The child cannot progress on its own. They need guidance at home. To achieve the goal of getting a good education, the child has to have the needed support outside the school system itself.
- Freedom of Expression -My daughters need to be able to express their thoughts and ideas. To develop their own intellect and talent, they have to express it. My girls write on their diaries. These private pages provides them a safe place of expressing their feelings. They write, draw and scribble on it. Their diary is an instrument of their freedom of expression that no one will ever object.
The society should be the first one to encourage the freedom of expression. If you listen closely to what other people say, an endless wisdom and ideas are afloat. The community benefits from picking the brains of its constituents.
At home, the child should have a voice. In a manner that is acceptable in your house, they need to be able to voice out their own thoughts. The child's opinion has to be validated to make them feel their idea counts! Through their self-expression, you can help them develop their way of thinking and strengthen their sense of reasoning towards progress.
Let me conclude this part on how my mother always tells me the story of the tree branch. She compares the rearing of the child with it. While the tree is young, you can twist and turn the branches to your design. As the tree ages, the branches becomes thicker and stronger. Once it grows old, the design can no longer be done for the branches will already resist and will break apart!
Copyright © 2012 The Girls. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without permission prohibited.
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