What exactly IS the value of education? Well, the answer is a definite, “It depends…”
It depends on what you do with the information.
It depends on whether what you learned is relative to what you’re doing.
It depends on if you set an intention to learn the information for a specific purpose.
It depends entirely on all of this and more.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in education always pays the best interest.” But in what sense was he speaking?
There’s no proof that I can find that says a college education will make you more successful in life. There ARE stats that point to the fact that the more college you get (i.e., the more initials behind your name) the more ‘salary’ you can command if you have a J.O.B. (just over broke as some people like to jokingly point out…not that there’s anything wrong with having a job), but there’s no stats that I can find that say you have to have a college degree to be successful.
Which brings us to another question: What is success?
I can only speak for myself, at the ripe young age of 50 and success to me is waking up in the morning grateful and happy to be doing the things I’m going to be doing that day and subsequent days. Success takes some planning, don’t you agree? But we’re not teaching our kids HOW to be successful; we’re putting them in situations from kindergarten to college senior where, for the most part, they are memorizing facts that may or may not be useful for their own real classroom.
What makes matters even worse is the enormous debt many college students get themselves into, and they don’t even know what they are doing most of the time. Why? Because, for the most part, we haven’t been teaching them. That coupled with this silly notion that they must get a college education, or else fail. I’d much rather see an 18 year old get a job after high school, take a few financial seminars, a couple city college classes, read a few amazing books and then start a business than go to college not really knowing what he or she wants, get into $20,000 worth of debt, graduate with a B.S. (and I don’t need to even tell you what THAT stands for) and not have a clue how to get out of that debt.
The reason I’m writing about this this morning is that I just spent three information-packed days learning all sorts of powerful things (many I’d learned before but hadn’t applied yet) related to business, live and making loads of money. Why LOADS of money you say? Because, for me, life is about experiences and helping others, often time with those two things happening simultaneously.
I don’t know about you, but I have learned more since graduating from college and high school than I ever learned in college or high school. I attribute this to the fact that the information I learn now I deem as relevant to my life somehow.
In the Ultimate Allowance Book, I talk about making the information relevant to your children (if you’re a parent). This is just one of the missing pieces in our education system in the US now, especially in grade school through high school. Our kids have no idea why they are learning this stuff. Add to this the obnoxious testing that we put them through and it’s no wonder America doesn’t score well in terms of preparing kids to handle life on their own very well.
But I know you want to do more than just force useless facts into your child’s brains. I encourage you to seek learning opportunities for your kids that are relevant to them and if they don’t SEEM relevant, help make them relevant to them somehow. The best way to do this is by asking them lots of questions.
OK, on with my day. But ask yourself today, “What experience am I or is my child having today that is relevant to our lives somehow?” You may be surprised by the answer.