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The most important obligation: education

Jul 08, 2015 11:46AM ● Published by Neighbors Magazines

Education of a community’s children is the most important obligation required of any generation. Those societies who achieve success will succeed to thrive and those who fail will experience upheaval, revolution, and chaos. Albert Einstein said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

In a society where facts are abundant through the use of instant electronic means, Einstein’s advice is even more important to comprehend. Our 24 hour news cycle, our worldwide ability to allow anyone to use the airwaves to deliver propaganda both good and evil, and the desire of many citizens to create their own deceitful truth makes education as important today as it has ever been. George Orwell warned us that, “During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Today our media is used as much to deceive as enlighten and has the ability to destroy and hide the truth as much as it has the means to reveal and decipher it.

This is why it is a citizen’s obligation to education the youth of a community whether we do or don’t have children attending public schools. It is also why we spend more of our local tax dollars to fund the cost of our education endeavors. We have local school boards and community leaders who volunteer time and energy to oversee and make sure that our schools are providing the opportunities needed to ensure that our next generations will succeed. Because of the instant flow of information and immediate access to various ideologies, today’s children have been born into a world that is more complex and more diversified than ever in the history of man.

George Washington, who lived in a much simpler time, understood that the experiment of a new nation required public education. “The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation every other means, in my opinion, must fail.” Those countries where education has not been provided to all its youth, male and female, in an easily accessible way are today the very societies that we can identify as being filled with turmoil, poverty, and revolution.

We know that there is a movement in our country to get all the services and the benefits of a great society without having to pay for it. There is an illusion that we can have the best but in the name of less government, fewer taxes, and no control over certain of our behaviors. As a society we struggle answering the question, “What will a bargain price get us.” Spend less becomes a euphemism for “anything we are spending in taxes is too much,” even at a time when we have a lower tax rate than we have ever had before. The “truth” for us is that we do elect local school boards to represent the children, the tax payers, and the community. Then we choose to live in a community that provides the education we think appropriate. Even within our country there are areas that have increased poverty and fewer dollars going into the education of the children.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” We should be proud to live in Geneva where we provide a quality education for our youth. We want our teachers to be highly capable, the best of the best, and are willing to pay them accordingly. We want excellent facilities that are conducive to learning. As a result, we sometimes may have to sacrifice to provide such an education, but we pay our teachers and those that oversee our most precious commodity, our children, in such a way that they can also live among us in our community. The payment we receive in return is that we have met our obligation to preserve our liberty and hopefully create a way of life for the next generation that is as good if not better than what was given to us. 

Scott Lebin is an Investment Advisor Representative with and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC, and a Registered Investment Advisor.  Non-Securities products and services are not offered through Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.

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