The importance of education and the falsification of wealth
Pearson, Fredrick M. T.
The Importance of Education & The Falsification of Wealth
There was a time when education was a privilege, and reserved for the wealthy and higher class of society. When this was so, education was highly valued regarded. It was considered as very important for the development of the civilized individual and viewed as level of prestige, as a badge of honor and something to be well and proud of. What happened? Those who were not privileged enough to get a formal education dreamed of this accomplishment, and those who were lucky enough to get a formal education held their head higher because of this success.
As times progressed, the importance of education began to degress. As social order gave way to new social values, wealth began to replace education as a primary symbol of prestige and success. It went from a time of “what do you know” to a time of “what can you show.” As education became more available, and eventually a mandatory or essential requirement, it began to be taken for granted. It was no longer seen as a level of accomplishment and success. It no longer separated the classes and we began to look for an alternative. Our possessions filled that void. “If I can accumulate more material possessions than you, I am more successful than you.” This became the new norm. Fast money, fast life, and no respect for the intellect. Those who pursued an education and excelled became known as “nerd” or “geek”. For most, education was seen as a waste of time, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, they drop out of school or don’t seek further education past a G.E.D.
You may ask, why is this of importance and how is this relevant? Because unfortunately, that is what landed me and a lot others in the lifestyle that resulted in the death and/or incarceration. It’s a proven fact that lack of education and poverty goes hand in hand. Why? Because education not only allows for doors in society to be opened , but also instills discipline, responsibility, and a sense of self worth and value. It helps you navigate in a world of unlimited possibilities. It is also a proven fact that poverty and crime goes hand in hand. Why? Because as I stated earlier, wealth is viewed as a success in this society today, and nobody wants to be seen as a failure. Those who fail die off. And people will do anything to survive. Even if it does not mean breaking social norms, known as ”Laws”, and risking the consequences that follow, which is often incarceration. Many of us chose this false dream of instant wealth, and when it turns out to be a lot harder than expected, we turn to crime to escape the poverty that follows lack of education. Sure, we all have dreams, goals, and ambition. But we lack the guidance that creates vision. We don’t know how to properly apply our many skills and talents. We only see one avenue to success. And that is the all mighty dollar. We see examples everyday of going from “ rags to riches”, and we say,” That can be me, so why do I need school.” And this is no real plan, so when it fails, seeing that we never had a real plan to start with, we say, “ I refuse to be a failure. Get money by any means necessary.”
During the time of my incarceration, I see this example daily. Why do you think the recidivism rate is so high for prisoners? Because all most of us know is crime. We come to prison, and still we refuse to gain something in life other than crime. You see the door keeps revolving? Even back here, more time is spent on acquiring wealth than on gaining useful knowledge. We must fix this. How? Education is the key. Analyze our past mistakes. This is history. History is education. Plan for our future past fast money. In doing this we will start to pursue a profession. This is also education. We must learn. We learn to know. We know to do. Learn better, know better do better. Our youth is being wasted chasing a dream called “wealth”, instead of building a future. Education is a solid foundation to building a future. Education is a solid foundation to build any form of change on, because to change a man, you must teach him something new.
Education in South Carolina Department of Corrections is very limited. Even though it’s a fact that education is needed to help reform the man, SCDC refuses to offer real education past G.E.D. This is a real problem. Why? Because all SCDC has as a solution to crime is ”lock up” and “lock down.” Nothing to do with our time is being filled with destructive habits and actions. And it's only getting worse. But I’m Sure the powers that be knows this. They just choose to ignore the real solution. Prevention is stopping something before it happens. And the only way to do this is to educate. Stiffer prison sentences does nothing but feed the monster known as mass incarceration. If we don’t learn today, tomorrow will be a failure. Education is the way.
Fredrick M. Pearson
Pelzer, SC 29669
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