Education

Will Rogers was a much loved American humorist
and actor in the early twentieth century. He died in
a plane crash in nineteen thirty five but left lots of
home spun wisdom about life for us to consider.

On education he said “The more that learn to read
the fewer that learn how to make a living. One thing
about a little education is it spoils you for actual
work. The more you know the more you think
somebody owes you a living.”

Rogers also said: “It isn’t what we don’t know that
gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” and
“What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and
cleaner minds.”

These ideas were from a part Cherokee Indian
country boy from Oklahoma who quit school in the
tenth grade. He made most of his money with friendly
comedy and what he said in public was mostly to get
laughs.

He also wrote a syndicated column for the New York
Times for thirteen years that reached forty million
readers, wrote regularly for the Saturday Evening
Post, lectured all over the world, wrote several books
and made seventy one movies. He was known to be a
tireless worker but some kind of education crept in
from somewhere.

What we know that aint so is less learned in school
than other places. Being spoiled for actual work is not
caused by school. There are no courses on royal
entitlement although in order to get more students
colleges promote statistics showing that graduates
on average make more money. That could warp some
young attitudes.

Education is good in many ways, but it doesn’t
guarantee anything. You can be an educated bum. If
writing poetry isn’t paying the bills dirtier fingernails
are a good option. You can be rich and adored later
but need to eat now.

Free government paid college for everyone? Bernie
Sanders supports tuition free public colleges through
taxing of financial transactions. This is more an
extension of the existing public school system than
an entirely new concept.

Public tuition free schools, with mandatory attendance
through a certain age have been part of American life
for over one hundred and fifty years. At first they were
grade school level but gradually increased to high
school age in most areas. Will the little red schoolhouse
eventually be a college? We’ll see.

Electronic devices have already affected learning of
reading, writing and arithmetic. The internet has made
answers to almost anything immediately available on
a smart phone. Those things can be interrupted. We
need the ability to function without them taught at
basic level.

We will continue to need food, clothing, construction,
repairs, law enforcement, military, etc. We all can’t be
doctors, lawyers, financiers and artists. Farmers,
carpenters, plumbers, laborers, clerks can have a nice
life too if they avoid the ever escalating want of stuff
cultivated by ads.

Realistic decisions about needs without regard to image
lead to relaxation.

Ken

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