This I Believe

Michael - House Springs, Missouri
Entered on August 11, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe

All summer I have been working on my twelve year old daughter’s playhouse cutting boards, hamming nails, you know the routine. As I do this work my mind wanders down different paths, and one of those paths has been how my life has changed from when I was twelve and living in Section Eight HUD apartments. We were on the sliding scale which meant my mom had a job and we had the luxury of paying for food or paying rent. It was then that I decided that this stinks, and would not live like this as an adult. How did I get out? A faith in God; programs like scouting; kindness of strangers; a role model of most of my family living in the middle class; but most of all public education.

This is why I believe Education is the greatest tool for keeping and getting people out of poverty in our country. We have tried many other methods most have failed. Yet more people have left the ranks of poverty due to there ability to read, write, and do arithmetic, my self included than any other method that I know of. Have an education your opportunities become infinite; with out an education your opportunities become very finite.

Education then becomes perpetual in families which keeps generations out of poverty, since it becomes expected for every one to get an education, even my disabled uncle raised in the 1950’s had at least some education, and my grandfather went back to get his GED when it became necessary in his job. My son and daughter are also expected not only to complete high school but attend some post-high school program. This means that more than likely they will escape the gears of poverty which can grind a human being into hopelessness.

A few years ago a student asked me why I taught and why I continue to teach, I told him at the time that I liked it which I do, but there is another reason why I teach. A reason that only those who have escape poverty would understand. I teach in order to help others escape poverty, and to pay pack those who have help me; in scouting there is a saying that reflects this attitude. You must pay back to scouting what scouting has given to you. The same must hold true of education.