I’m about to write something offensive. I try not to be offensive, most of the time. But, today I’m going to get it for what I’m about to write. Which is interesting, because really all I’m trying to support is hard work, personal responsibility, and critical thinking. These are all skills my husband and I work hard to teach our children because they are keys to successful, fulfilling adult lives. We teach our children to work purposefully, unselfishly, and lovingly. If these three ideals are the dominate motivators, then the ability to care for personal needs, care about others, and help when needed is created. This leads to resilient adults who are able to take care of themselves and others.
So, what will have everyone so upset with me? I’m going to openly support working for what people want to achieve. I’m going to openly support taking individual responsibility for becoming a successful person in life. I’m going to openly support individuals learning how to think, reason, and make their own conclusions – not parroting what they heard “experts” say. I’m going to openly support families, and extended families, caring for one another instead of the government.
Apparently, these ideals have fallen out of favor with the media and political ruling classes in the US. Apparently, these ideals have fallen out of favor with the public education system in the US. And, I’m afraid, the consequences will be dire for the stability of the US in the long run.
I watched a news report over the shoulder of my husband this morning that floored me. A young, college student was on Fox News Cavuto Coast to Coast advocating free college tuition, student loan forgiveness, and a minimum wage of $15 for college students working on campus. Here’s the video link. http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4609384375001/students-want-top-earners-to-pay-their-tuition/?playlist_id=933116651001#sp=show-clips
I’m not going to lie, this interview had me livid. High blood pressure moment and everything. And the comment that made me most upset was the young women’s declaration that her family is “scraping by” to put her through college. The entitlement mindset that this revealed just astounded me.
When did a college education become a right?
Yes, I went to college. Yes, I worked through college to offset some of the cost. I also worked really hard in high school to earn an academic scholarship. And, I worked a part time job through high school to prepare for college. And yes, I still have some student loan debt. These were conscious choices. Another conscious choice was which college I chose to attend. I looked into a pricey private school – although not as pricey as some – and decided that I couldn’t afford that school. I looked at schools out of state, and realized it was much more beneficial to go to college in state. Nowhere in my decision to go to college was the thought that my parents would pay for it. I made these choices and by the grace of God and emotional support from my family, I was successful.
The issue shouldn’t be that students have to go to college because a high school education isn’t rigorous enough. There’s plenty of employment that doesn’t require college degrees — skilled positions that are apprentice and journeyman tracks where people can earn a living. Colleges aren’t the only option and going straight to college after high school isn’t the only option either. Taking time to work and save money is reasonable.
There are a couple problems with “free” things. First, they aren’t free. Somehow the salaries, materials, buildings, etc., have to be paid for and someone has to pay for them. The problem with saying “Oh, just let the rich pay for it” is that eventually those rich will not be rich any more. We’ve seen this collapse in country after country. Eventually, the money runs out and leaves a ruined country. Can anyone say Greece?
The bigger problem with “free” is that it takes the value out of whatever was “free”. For example, someone is offering a free sample at the grocery store. Costco’s great at offering free samples – but when you take the free sample do you savor it? Do you think about how fantastic that little bite of sushi was? Or do you pop it in your mouth and continue on your way?
Now, if you bought sushi at a restaurant, I think the reaction would be different. There would be enjoyment of the food. There would be an appreciation of ingredients and culinary skills. And the higher the price, generally the higher the appreciation of the food. I don’t go to a fast food establishment looking for a steak dinner.
This same concept applies to education. A free college education takes away the rigor of college; because it will be taken advantage of much like a high school education is now. If there is no sacrifice involved in attaining a college education, then the incentive to goof off, focus on social life, and waste the time given is very high. We see this problem in high school now. Add to all that the consequences of having the government control not only the elementary and secondary education in the country, but the collegiate level as well. If the government pays for college, then the government gets control of the colleges. And we see how well that’s working.
So, instead of asking the government to pay for everything, and be in everything, and control everything – let’s teach our children to be independent, to be compassionate, to be self-sufficient. Let’s teach them to love themselves enough to work for their own success. To take pride in a job well done and not to expect things to be handed to them.
Sooner or later, the one’s being handed to will have to hand out, and then the system stops working. Eventually, the wealth that was created in the country is spent, and no one knows how to create new wealth. I spent almost two years in Romania, 10 years post communism. I love, love the Romanian people. It was so painful to see how many struggled to care for their families and children. The living conditions were eye opening. Many had dirt floors, with no heat. Many had no indoor plumbing. Great blocks of buildings were in disrepair. Government works projects stopped when communism failed and hadn’t been started again. Children lived in the sewers, and got high on glue, to escape their realities. Young women sold themselves to earn money for food. My heart hurts so much for my Romanian brothers and sisters, mostly because I couldn’t teach them what they needed to know. Self-sufficiency and independence had already been beaten out of them. They were learning, but it was such a slow and painful process.
This idea that socialism will solve all our problems is false. The government cannot be in charge of our lives from birth to death. The system collapses, and leaves terrible destruction behind. I’ve seen it and I’m terrified that it will happen here to my children or grandchildren. Instead, we need to teach our children to love themselves enough to work purposefully, unselfishly, lovingly, and to care about families. If families care about families, then the government doesn’t need to. Then society becomes more compassionate because then the care is immediate and personal –not dictated by someone who doesn’t know you or made into a law. People are compassionate – not government. And only people can create a utopia.
I know what I’ve said won’t be popular with some. I welcome dissenting opinions, but please keep comments on topic and respectful. All comments are moderated, and abusive comments will be deleted.