This I Believe

Calvin - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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Education is Not For My Future

From the moment I started school, I was told by my parents that whole purpose of getting an education was to go to college, get a degree, get a stable well-paying job, and live a happy life. I was constantly told this until I believed it myself, that the ultimate goal of an education was to get money to live the “good life”. In fact, my plan was to go to graduate school and become a big-shot investor who earns over two-hundred grand a year. That whole view on life and its purpose for the next eight years was all shattered in one short conversation with a teacher.

During math class, I was helping one of my friends solve a problem while my teacher was observing. She complemented me by saying that I should be a teacher one day. I quickly replied by saying the pay was too low. That night as I pondered the ideas and beliefs that conversation brought to mind, I realized how my thoughts on earning money clouded life’s true purpose.

All of us are born into this life and have some seventy to eighty years to live it to the best of our ability. Most of us go to school so we can get a good job to insure a stable future for ourselves. Why would I spend the first twenty-some years of my life in school and go out and get a job that only benefits me. That’s just selfish. I have only so many years on this earth so why not use it to help others. I no longer want to get a job where I go out, I invest, help some CEO get fat and rich, while taking in a couple hundred grand for myself. Do I care if I don’t earn hundreds of thousands of dollars? No. When I die, money won’t be worth anything to me, so why dwell on it so much? I want to help the people, make a difference in this world. It would be a waste to spend all those years in school just for my benefit. Why not share my knowledge and talents? I wouldn’t mind any career, as long as I know that through it, I was actively bettering our society.

I don’t want to get an education for myself. I want to get an education for the world, for the people, for my family. I believe my goal in life is not better myself, but to better others. Whether I become the guy who finds the cure for AIDS, a politician, a lawyer, or even a teacher, I’ll know that I didn’t waste my life. And maybe, I can look back in one day and see that, I, one individual, was able to touch the lives of so many, and push us farther down the path of a bright future. I know I will be able to make a difference in this world. This I believe.