Posts Tagged ‘Mediocrity’

The useless piece of paper

May 12, 2010

How “the value of an education” has reduced our society into a mundane and mediocre experience

In today’s world, most people would equate obtaining a college degree with living a successful life. Unfortunately, that is largely true…

How many years of this will you sentence yourself to?

Everything seems to come down to the classroom: how many hours you have spent in class, how much homework you have done, how many credits you have earned, and the piece of paper you are given as a reward, better known as a degree. There are many companies and employers who will refuse to have anything to do with an applicant who has not done the 4+ year prison sentence, even if they are eager and more than capable of doing what is needed. Now, things are more difficult than ever…community colleges are bursting at the seams and tuition costs for universities are going through the roof. In fact, some people are shelling out $20-30,000 a year only to emerge without the ability to locate Iraq on a map or identify what political party Abraham Lincoln was involved in. How pathetic is that?

As a student, I always find myself thinking of what I’d really like to be doing every time I force myself into the classroom…and it’s not just because I am awash with ADD. Last year, I learned more about life and the world we live in when I visited South Asia. I discovered who I could be and what I wanted to do…and I didn’t even have to assess into a math class. Since then, I’ve come to realize that there are many famous people — in fact, many people who have changed the world — who either gave up or skipped the classroom altogether. Just a few examples…

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Harry S. Truman
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Eminem
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Bill Gates
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Woody Allen
  • George Washington

Many of these people have changed the world in spectacular ways or have accomplished things that many of us only dream of…and the piece of paper that today’s society demands was not even needed. If I had it my way, I would take all the money I will spend on college these next two years and use it to travel and gain the experience in life I need. Maybe everyone should. I mean, come on, its not as if our world, even though it demands degrees from those who seek success, is a perfect place. Far from it, in fact.

My ideal classroom...a visit to Indonesia

In the West, “the value of an education” and its ripple effects produce a population that is enslaved to mediocrity and a boring way of life: you are born, go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, produce a few kids, get a mortgage, plan for retirement, save for the kids’ “education”, suffer a few financial and subsequent health problems, send the kids off to college, weep at the sight of their empty room, pay bills, retire (if you live long enough), and die.

Perhaps you are reading this and thinking I am just a misinformed college student. But…think for a minute about how many lives could be summed up with the above list. I’m guessing there are quite a few…probably even a clear majority who live that way. When I realize this, I can’t help but shudder at the thought of paying tens of thousands of dollars just so I can find a place among billions in a lifestyle that is the same — a depressing, perpetual cycle on a spinning rock in space. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. If you are like me and need some inspiration, do some research on some of the people I mentioned above. Their stories are amazing. The things they accomplished were amazing. They were adventurous and stepped off the path that everyone else took…and some of them ended up leaving today’s world a better place than the world they found.

As for me, I don’t know what I am going to do…I want to have a degree, but I’m not going to punish myself if it proves to be too difficult. Maybe I should book a one-way ticket to some remote corner of the world 😀