It’s a Process

When I was growing up, I never cared for homework. I did it to pass the grades. For a couple of years, I excelled, then returned to my regular routine of making sure I passed the grades, while one sibling excelled and went to a university among many choices with pretty much everything paid. Of course, I eventually completed my university education and went on to help others learn. I think the path I chose was one less travelled, but through working, hobbies, reading, and teaching, seeing a growing apathy in our youth, the desire to learn and bring to the students more, showing them the value of learning, even on their own, to take on hobbies and dream of things when they grow up, I came to realize how important both learning and understanding are for our youth. In one country, I discovered that the children go to school during the day, but starting at a certain grade, they also go to night school. In one show, I remember something that always stuck with me, of course, in my adult years: a teenage child was wanting to just get by in school, then work without dreams of rising up the ladder. The father said something important here. He said to his teenage child that fear of brains falling out due to all the study was the real fear, even fear of failure and all the work required. Just do your best and everything else is okay, he explained. And finding your own way to learn is for each person. We need to encourage our youth to learn. But learning happens in a variety of venues, and developing conversations at home is part of it. One very successful entrepreneur remembers sitting near the adults, after dinner, listening to the conversations about life and the issues of the day, with friends. Another did the same. If we educate ourselves, as adults, really educate ourselves, learn to think for ourselves, reading between the lines in many cases, then we can foster a curiosity and desire to know that which is useful. This then becomes a building block for which the children grow up, able to figure things out, and in effect, “see” the doors of opportunities that so many don’t believe are there. Perhaps, some of our youth are not academics and we might envision. Perhaps some are more “hands on”, trending more towards vocations, starting their own businesses, and who knows what. But much of this starts right in the home. What kids see around them becomes their reality. So, along the years, I learned, I researched, I read, I listened, and thought for myself. It takes time. One needs to spend time with family and friends, have hobbies, and help others. I learned much in a variety of jobs that brought more to my university education. But along the way, watching programs filled with meaning, understanding and reading about history, and taking the time to truly observe truly enriches one’s life and brings more. Yes, you will see the upsides and downsides. One might even wish they hadn’t opened their eyes and remained unaware. But the hope is for you and for the next generations. There’s another thing worth considering. In learning, one will have to be patient. Depending upon subject matter, one has to sift through that which is truly meaningful and that which is distracting. But with patience, remembering the important things in your life, remembering to laugh and not take everything too seriously, but take serious the import of understanding and learning, over time, you might find interests growing and reading a couple of hours at night before seeing the sandman. This then encourages our youth to find their way. It’s a process.

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