"Education plants the seed of character in the heart of man..."

"The purpose of education is to show us how to define ourselves authentically and spontaneously in relation to our world-not to impose a prefabricated definition of the world, still less an arbitrary definition of ourselves as individuals."
~ Thomas Merton ("Learning to Live" in Love and Living)

"The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live."

~ Morris Adler (1870-1937), Austrian psychiatrist

"There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning."
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

When we are young, sometimes we don't truly understand the importance of a good education. We all "hate" school; we love to have days off to play, to go shopping or just to goof off (which is O.K., we all need days to rest and have fun). We don't appreciate the fact that we are very lucky to live in a country where we can go to school for free. So many children in this world don't have the privilege to receive a good education and don't have the opportunities that we have in this country. Let us then see it as a challenge and let's see how far we can go and how much we can achieve. But don't believe that to be successful you have to be rich; to be successful you have to enjoy what you are doing, always expect the best, accept challenges, do the things you know you have to do and feel a sense of accomplishment. Also, you have to have balance in your life, and not only be good at what you do in school or at work; but also learn to treat others with love and respect and have meaningful relationships.

We all need a good balanced education if we want to be able to find a good job one day and feel better about ourselves; if we want to accomplish our goals and dreams. There will be some subjects that you will never like; but just hang in there and do your best. Finish High School NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES and work hard at acquiring some good skills and learning a profession. There are always great opportunities to allow you to attend a technical school, a community college or a university. Look forward to the future and believe that all your sacrifices will pay. If you believe in yourself all your dreams can become a reality.

I found the following interesting excerpts in my father in law's High School Graduation Book ("The Record" from West Philadelphia High School of June 1935). These are from the Salutatorian and Valedictorian's speeches at their graduation.  I think they are very inspiring and hope you enjoy them.

From "What it Means to be Educated" (by Carolyn Stephenson):

"May we fulfill the highest expectations of all those who have been interested in us, and may we attain some worthy accomplishment by means of the opportunities offered to us through education, which is due in a great measure to the spirit of democracy which has ever prevailed in America."

"What does the term education mean? It means not only instruction given through books, but a gradual adjustment to the spiritual possessions of the race, with a view to realizing one's own potentialities and to assisting in carrying forward our inheritance of ideas, acts, and institutions which we call civilization."

"Today the truly educated man must be in some sense, efficient. He must be able to express his knowledge and so leave the world better than he found it. Abstract meditation without production is fatal both to character and to the highest intellectual power. Do something and do it well."

From "What it Means to be Educated" (by Eleanor Bailenson):

"If we begin to think about life seriously, we find that mankind lives in two worlds. First, the physical world into which we are born; and secondly, the world created by the power of education. Not everyone has the privilege or the ability to enjoy them both. Therefore, the real leaders of civilization are those who enter the portals of education and pave a way for us to follow them."

"The first test of education is a quickening of the mind to the beauties of art and nature, to religion and cultured writings, to music and the calm of meditation. Only a spirit, tremulous with the sensation of beauty, can realize this tranquility. Therefore, vulgarity, which Ruskin calls the lack of sensation, can not exist in the truly educated person, because his life is enriched by higher impressions. Nothing truly beautiful, no matter how obvious, can escape his appreciation."

"The mark of an educated man, in the words of Emerson, is his absence of pretension. Education means a trained eye that sees the glory of an open road, that perceives the power of the Master in the tiny creations about him, that senses the depth of mental and moral calm in solitude. Education means a dignity of mind, courtesy and appreciation of kind words and beautiful thoughts. The true student, who realizes the charm of education, seeks to learn, to build his body and soul, to understand the great minds of the ages. The student is humble in spirit. Education plants the seed of character in the heart of man. Then he can honorably and bravely fill his place in the world."

"No matter where we find our education, let it always mean the love of beauty, music, truth, and wisdom. Let our choice of friends be influenced by a marked harmony of the spirit. May we be happy in the power that our education gives us to serve others. With love of nature and courtesy to our fellow men, let us labor joyfully and contentedly. Then in the future we may meet and realize that a deeper power unites us. Then we realize that in our education we find brotherhood, and we never really say farewell, but instead we meet again in the wonderings of our meditations and service to the world."

I know, it's all very flowery, very old fashioned - but there's great wisdom in those words. The truth is we all need a good education in order to be able to pursue our goals and fulfill our dreams and we will definitely feel better about ourselves after accomplishing some of those goals. And it is never too late to study and get a better education, there are many opportunities out there; let's take advantage of them! Let's get motivated!

The important thing is to try to use our potential for our own benefit and the benefit of others. We all play an important part in life; let's try our best to find our special role. Together we can create a better world!

Joseph J. Mazzella wrote in his article "Learning & Teaching":

"The truth is that you are never too young to be a teacher and you are never too old to be a student.  You continue to learn new things everyday of your life.  Your teachers can range from newborns to ninety-year-old's.  All that you need to learn is an eager mind and an open heart. Don't believe that foolishness about you can't teach an old dog new tricks either.  You can always learn no matter how old a dog you become.  God put all of us here to learn to love and it is a life long class.

Take your place then as a student of love and life.  Learn all that you can, every way that you can, and from everyone that you can.  Spend all of your days growing in knowledge and wisdom about love, joy, giving, helping, and caring.  Then share what you have learned with the world.

We are all students of love and we are all teachers of love.   Let us be the best students we can possibly be, and let us be teachers that God would be proud of."

Always remember

Like an "echo" - our life is simply a reflection of our intentions and actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.
If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence.
This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life...
Life will give you back everything you have given to it!
Your life is not a coincidence - it's a reflection of you!

"All that you'll ever be you are now becoming ..."

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