The message from yesterday’s inauguration seemed to be one of unity. Possibly similar to Lincoln’s quest for a re-unification of a desperate nation President Obama seemed to call for a combination of our strengths for future goals. He spoke about our place on the world stage. How we are looked upon to be leaders. How the American dream is the model to which other nations aspire.
However, that is not the case with our current educational system. We are #1 in self-esteem and 67th in math and science. Hey, Google it – a new colloquialism in our lexicon. Well, how do we get there and how have we gotten there?
The countries that lead in education are also the countries that are the most heavily connected via the Web. Nothing is a cure all. Everything takes work (Pop taught me that everyday of my life). He used to say, “nobody is going to tell you your face is dirty”. Figuring that out is up to you. That’s just part of the job, self-examination. Be critical of yourself, not to a fault but check and recheck.
I remember him voting for Kennedy in 1960 and also watching that inauguration. Asking the world to solve your (our) problems just doesn’t work. I saw my father up everyday at 5:00 getting ready to shovel another ton of sand and cement. Two slipped disks in his back and fingers that looked like short bratwursts. Everyday for over 50 years he repeated that routine. He never asked for anyone else to do his job, and neither should we. One thing he constantly taught both my sister and myself, re-enforced by my entire family, education is the key to a better life. And even though he didn’t have one himself, he made very sure we both had that chance. It was very simple, get up and go to work.
Today we have every tool at our disposal, literally, the world at our fingertips. We need to embrace that power, that toolset and go forward. Don’t ask what the world is doing for us, see what we can contribute to a world wide web of information and how we can use that strength and power to make sure to a certainty that our children learn the best they can and to also learn the ethic of hard work and never ask what the world can do for them. It is all out there for the taking, our job stop asking and start doing.