. . . Get Some and Give Some
I know I must be getting old when I find myself picking my oldest granddaughter up from her college orientation. Each of my sons and I have an agreement that we will all pitch in to make sure that the "kids "(seven grandchildren) get their education. That includes books, cars, tuition, parking stickers and whatever it takes, because the option is potentially too costly. I guarantee you that it is cheaper to help kids pay for tuition and education than entry into the underground economy. I gave her a cross pen. She doesn't really know how proud we are that she is off to college. My oldest grandson will be joining her next year.
Education as a Barber got me my first business. Education got me my Law Degree and my Law Office which got me to a position that I can help my children and grandchildren, and even my community move forward.
The journey was not a short one for me as I got my AA, my BA and a JD, all after I got married. And neither was it for my wife. I guess you could say that Miss Ruthie got her Mrs. before she got her BA. After sacrificing to help me through school, she returned and got her bachelors and then attended Law school, before she decided to manage the Law office. We have benefitted by working together. The struggle that we went through to get the degrees was worth it, and you forget about it when you've succeeded. Now the kids can benefit, in more ways than one. That's how and why education is the gift that keeps on giving.
Looking back over the years, it took 17 years from the idea of saying I want to be a Lawyer, to the day I passed the California State Bar and got my ticket to practice. Today, the pain of the sacrifice is gone and the rewards are being enjoyed by my family. Now it's their turn as they prepare for their future and their families.
Whether it is in hard times or good times, and believe me you will see both if you live long enough, education makes life easier and more enjoyable. Of course, as my Mother always reminded me, the world is full of "educated fools". She'd say, "Don't be one and don't waste time fooling with them, and certainly don't marry one." That is another column, altogether.
In those years since I went through school, the world has changed a thousand-fold. I just read in the Black Voice newspaper where a church in San Bernardino holds classes where they teach pre-schoolers the fundamentals of Algebra. The church is Temple Missionary Baptist Church. Clearly someone at that church had the vision and realized the value of education. They have partnered with Cal State University at San Bernardino to create this powerful program. Having never really learned Algebra myself, I am duly impressed.
Other news articles demonstrate the value of education in a variety of ways. One recent article had a mother, son and grandson all graduating at the same time. There is always a senior person going back to get a diploma or degree. Another story in the Black Voice news profiles a former crack addict who had been arrested 34 times, returning to community college to get her education.
The world has changed since my journey to get an education and it is still changing. There are doors of opportunity that are open oday that my generation never have dreamed would be opened to Blacks. We were discriminated against at every job opening. We once had our own neighborhoods. Rarely did we ever see a Black face on television except on the evening news, usually as criminals, not as anchors. Today, we are indeed fully integrated into all areas of America and the various communities. This is in a major part due to getting an education and being ready, willing and able to step into an opportunity when the door opens.
Whether you are young, old, on drugs, sober, or whatever, stop, look at your life or your child's life and enroll in some school, today. Enroll your high school graduate in college. If they are reluctant, maybe you would also benefit by going. Tell him/her that you will go too. Imagine the story of you studying together and graduating with your child. It can change your family's life. Get some education. Try it. You'll like it!