A Haiku - Self-Reliance
Readin', writin' and ....
A Haiku - Self-Reliance
State, Fed., Charity?
Much of life depends on me;
willing and ready.
Will America be Self-Reliant in the future?
There is a time to turn to others for help, but there is usually ample time to prepare so we have the health, education, and resources to manage on our own. Old age brings the challenges youth prepares for. Or do they?
In a recent high school class I was teaching, the all-too-common student view of the future was that life after high school was going to be devoted to "fun and games."
Granted the traditional view of work, marriage, and family, has taken some serious blows in recent times. (Morality has, too!) But, "fun and games" as the objectives for today's youth?
I blame this in part on their generation never having been seriously challenged as some other youth in the world have.
They were babies when terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City. Their great grandparents who had the experiences of World War II are dying off, or already gone. An all-volunteer professional military has limited that patriotic dedication to an option most are happy to avoid. Plentiful food supplies throughout the year have eliminated want for the vast majority, and safety nets for those in need have diminished the need to struggle, save, and prepare for something so seemingly distant that it hasn't registered with today's youth.
Perhaps we are raising a generation of youth that are too soft for their own good.
They have seen sicknesses take their toll, even on some few classmates, but few have experienced the extreme costs good health can entail, and even the steadily rising costs for food, gas, energy, and housing, haven't yet registered. It's "simply what it is."
How do we teach them that self-reliance may be key to a successful future?
Student debt for education beyond public education is so high, not just because college and university tuitions keep jumping, but also because parents and students didn't save enough ahead of the need, work while attending, and even actively apply for the scholarships which could have reduced the later indebtedness.
The same relaxed attitude, even while attending high school, has seen America's public education falling further behind other leading nations in the competition to prepare students for the increasingly scientific and technical world of the 21st Century.
Who of our youth really read any more, except for text messages that aren't even written in good English? Forgetting science and mathematics for a moment, who of our youth can write, read, and reason well enough to meet the needs of jobs paying more than a minimum wage?
We see the evidence of America's "brain shortage" in the number of graduates from other countries being hired by American companies for the jobs our students could have had, if we had enough American graduates to hire having the needed education.
Innovation and ingenuity have been what set American business and industry apart in the past. In order for America to be self-reliant in the future, we must continue to foster those traits today, and that requires that we encourage, train and reward educators who can inspire today's youth to futures that are much more than just "fun and games."
© 2014 Demas W. Jasper Al rights reserved.