If you think education is expensive, try ignorance


“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Derek Bok

Throughout history, higher education was looked at as something for the elite, the intellectuals and the wealthy while the average person  usually learned a trade. Although a higher education wasn’t a requirement, in order to live decently one still needed to learn a trade.

It used to be if you were healthy you had a good chance of finding decent work. As time went by, many jobs began requiring the ability to read and write. As jobs evolved and became more difficult, a high school diploma became a requirement.

Within the last ten years, a high school diploma wasn’t enough anymore to find a decent paying job. The problem was there were more people than jobs. Jobs that ten years ago only required a high school education now required a four year college degree.

Even with that additional requirement, there are still more candidates than available jobs.  Those who don’t have any education stand no chance in finding a decent paying job. Pretty soon, even the lowest paying jobs will require an education.

Obtaining an education is expensive, but with the right education, that cost can be paid back in a reasonable timeframe. Taking the money required for an education and spending it on a business venture or something else will not get you very far. In order to survive in today’s market, a formal education is really needed.

Every so often you hear of someone striking it rich without an education, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Most of these individuals were in college and only left after their venture took off. These individuals were also far from ignorant. The ignorant will not get very far in today or in the future.

Everyone at one point or another has to pay someone to do something for them. Even the wealthy and educated have to pay others to perform certain functions. The educated don’t need to pay many others, since they are able to perform some of these functions themselves. The rich can afford to pay people for every function. The ignorant also have to pay people for almost every function, except they have no money, and usually get taken for a ride.

Without an education these days, you have to pay more people to do things for you, and many of those people who will take advantage of you. In the long run, ignorance will end up costing much more than that education.

Not only will ignorance end up costing much more than an education, it will kill the possibility for many opportunities. You may have an idea or two for creating something that may make create wealth, but without an education, the connections an education establishes or vast sums of money, you will not get very far with your ideas.



For real power, be a person of character

“Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness.” John Howe

Dictionary.com defines character as:

1. The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. One such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. Moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. Reputation: a stain on one’s character.
Character, individuality, personality refer to the sum of the characteristics possessed by a person. Character refers especially to moral qualities, ethical standards, principles, and the like: a man of sterling character.

Your character is defined by the type of person you are and how you live your life. Being a person of good character means you have qualities that inspire trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. It means you act in a manner consistent with those qualities.

There is no amount of money that can hide a character defect. A person may hide behind an image of someone with character for a short period of time, but eventually, their true character comes to light.

Throughout history, people who’ve possessed qualities of good character have risen up from obscurity to become very powerful individuals or leaders.

Abraham Lincoln was one such person, who is remembered throughout history for his powerful character and using that power against great opposition to abolish slavery. Others who were chosen to lead because of their character include John F Kennedy, George Washington.

With enough money, a person can buy the appearance of power, in much the same way most of our elected officials got elected, but it doesn’t give them true power. With true power, which comes with people of character, mountains can be moved. How many people in power today can move mountains?

Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. moved mountains because of the type of character they were. No amount of money could do what these individuals were able to do merely by the force of who they were, defined by how they lived their life and molded into their character.

True power comes with good character. People will follow to the ends of the world someone with the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. That kind of power can’t be bought. The only way to obtain that kind of power is to earn it by being a person of good character.

The world will change when we change how we think


“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

People used to take pleasure in watching performers at their best. Back then, no one was amused or enjoyed or tolerated by anyone taking pleasure in the miss-fortune of others. That was during a time when ethics, morals and maintaining good character were foremost on everyone’s mind. That was a time that ended just a few decades ago.

Things are different now. Ethics and morals have taken a back seat to greed and corruption. Pleasure comes before morals. For many, today’s philosophy is the individual comes before society or even the family.

Today, success and the pursuit of personal pleasure are the dominant goals. There are no longer any boundaries which are taboo. Taking pleasure in the miss-fortune of others is the latest rage. New reality shows that exploit and mock those who are less fortunate appear every week.

Those who are looked up to and admired aren’t the ones advancing mankind, but those who exploit mankind the most or those who can take the most from everyone else.

We let this happen. It’s us who’ve sat back and did nothing or applauded as these things happened. We’ve let others decide for us what’s in our best interest. We vote for politicians that we know are corrupt. We accuse them of corruption, and some even get convicted in a court of law, and yet we vote for them again at the next election.

We watch shows that we know are demeaning to the human race and we cry out how horrible they are, and yet we continue to watch them.

The world will not change until we do. It will not change until we say we will not tolerate this behavior and follow that up with our actions. It is not enough to say we abhor this behavior while continuing to live with it. We must be the vehicles of change. We have to change what we do, what we watch, how we vote and who we look up to.

We must change how we think. We have to acknowledge in our minds this is unacceptable behavior.

Looking the other way makes us equally guilty in what’s happening to society. It is only when we take a stand that is followed up with our actions that change will begin to come about. It is not enough to say you want change, then to hope someone else will bring it about. All of us have to be part of that change. All of us have to change how we think and what we do.