November is the season for thankfulness. As Americans we have many freedoms in our lives to be thankful, most of which I take for granted every day. I am grateful for all the service personal who protect our freedoms, as well as the ones who have lost their lives defending our freedoms. It is our freedom of speech which allows me to be able to write this blog without fear of repercussion when expressing my ideas. It is our freedom of education which has blessed me with a wonderful career, as well as provides my children with a foundation for their future.
Studying other cultures and their education systems makes me realize how fortunate we are to be Americans. In our country, all people have the right to be educated regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, disability, or other barrier. Every child is offered the opportunity to learn, which is a commodity in our ever-connected world. Also, there is a standard of excellence for the education all students receive to make learning equal.
Only when I sit and reflect, do I actually realize the impact of having the freedom of education. Because of education I am literate, which puts me in the company of 83% of women worldwide according to the UNESCO 2017 report. Additionally, less than 2% of the global illiterate population resides in North America. Being literate is a key aspect of success in the global society. Many career and life opportunities are only available to those who can read and write.
Being literate reduces my chances of experiencing poverty, which in turn increases my ability to be healthy. I am better equipped to be proactive with my health as I can read about healthy habits and lifestyles, as well as understand the medications prescribed by doctors when I am sick. Medical information is not the only type of information I can access, as I can go to the library to read about any topic I want to learn. Or, I can read a fictional book to serve as an escape from a stressful time. Due to my job opportunities, I am able to be a contributing member of economic growth in our country. Also, being literate means I am more likely to be involved in my community, according to the International Literacy Association. All of these positives in my life due to the freedom of education.
Education does not have to be formal, as you can participate in online courses or learning modules. YouTube even fine-tuned my ability to parallel park when it had been years since I utilized that skill. Once again, being an American enables us to have uncensored internet access due to our freedoms, and our education equips us with the tools to enjoy these freedoms.
As you reflect upon all you have to be thankful for this season, think about your freedom of education. Thank a teacher, principal, cafeteria worker, custodian, or bus driver.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela