June 2022

June Thought of the Month

"Only the educated are free."

~ Epictetus

Countries measure their success by GDP, Stock Market gains, the strength of their armies. A truer measure is the quality of the education that all of a country's citizens have access to. I remember thinking in grade school that once I graduated, I'd be through. No more pencils, no more books, etc. Oh the innocence of childhood. I only realized the value of a good education as I grew older. Epictetus, the source of this month's quote, was born a slave and became a philosopher history remembers. He lived more than 1900 years ago. Even then they recognized this truth: if a nation denies its people a true education, that nation is not truly free.

All across the world people are denied an education because of their gender, race, social position, economic standing. The motivation in each case is for "the elite" in each country to keep the best for themselves, trapping those left behind in a kind of slavery with no visible chains. What they refuse to see or accept is that while they may have power and wealth now, they have crippled the source of both.

I experienced both a private and public education and saw the inequity between the two first hand. Politicians have controlled what we learn in school for decades here in the U.S., but now they're trying openly to use our school curriculum to rewrite history to fit their own political agendas. In some countries, the goverment controls everything their citizens see and hear so they are never fully aware of the truth of what's going on inside and outside their borders.

It's up to each of us to pursue all the knowledge we can hold. It doesn't matter when we left the education system, there is always something new to learn and ways to learn, from how-to videos online to books in your public library. The better educated we all are, the higher the quality of our contribution to our communities, which leads to healthier societies. We must not accept the limitations others put on us for their gain. We must claim our own freedom.

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