My youngest child is getting ready to go off to college. She wants to study pre-med and will likely be at school for many, many years. Luckily, she enjoys learning and reading, because she will be doing a lot of both.
There is something to be said for having a college degree, but not everyone needs one to have a successful career. Many jobs don’t require a degree at all or offer on the job training. Yes, it is possible to find decent employment with a high school diploma and not be $75,000 in debt after sitting through lectures for four years.
One could find employment in the transportation department as a subway operator, locomotive engineer, or ship pilot—all aboard! The utility companies offer jobs as power plant operators and telecommunications line installers—can you hear me now?
If someone is interested in big equipment or big booms, they could seek a position in earth drilling, crane operating, or explosives—it’s like playing in an adult sandbox. If safety if their thing, they can still shake things up and become a non-destructive testing specialist and use equipment to determine the safety of structures, vehicles or vessels—think of the lives one could save by breaking things.
No matter what vocation we choose, the most important thing to do is learn as much as we can. Money may make the world go round, but knowledge is power, and it’s priceless. Once we know something, such as facts or skills, we are more profitable to employers. We are also more valuable to society. We built our world on the vast knowledge humans have amassed over the centuries.
Of course, none of this would be possible without one crucial skill, reading. We only live so long, and when we are gone, our personal experiences go with us unless we share them. We pass our knowledge, ideas, and culture down generations via the written word. If knowledge is priceless, reading is the currency to gain it. Once we learn to read, knowledge is at our fingertips, and that new knowledge powers our reading. The more we know, the more we comprehend when we read texts.
Thankfully, most cultures instill reading at an early age, but it’s never too late to learn. It doesn’t matter if the reader is five or seventy-five. There is something beautiful about seeing the look of comprehension on the face of a new reader. It is as if they opened the door to a new world—a world of knowledge and delight.
As we watch our children move on in life, I hope that the knowledge we gave them will aid them on their paths. I also hope that their journeys teach them something knowledgeable to pass down to others.
Best of luck to all of the graduates, young and old, and keep reaching for that priceless knowledge.