Kleshas and Tanhas

ethics morals faiths ideals

College: The Not Winner-Take-All Means of Life’s Happiness

with 3 comments

It would be to state the obvious if I was to say that there were other means of education. Individuals that don’t have the financial means, the time, or the commitment for a traditional college education somehow make it in the world without a degree. Maybe the times are a-changing. Maybe the workforce is demanding a “well-rounded” college graduate. But when I look around at the members of Mercy Neighborhood, I see individuals on the other side. The other side of what…I would say, they have made it to other side of life’s biggest time commitment (and challenge as of late.) They have led lives pursuing careers, occupations, marital and familial roles-all of which have equal worth.

I get the sense that not every single individual at Mercy was a traditional, four-year university graduate. The language, diction, and topics of choice have formulated my assumptions (as unfair and maybe even degrading as that might seem-even though that is clearly not my intention) on who has passed a college English 101 course on proper grammar. I mention this because I myself receive a little bit of judgment for the usage of y’all and it really happens to be an interesting topic within itself; linguistics, accents, and vocabulary. And I would argue from my personal experience that these three qualities cannot be the only means to qualify someone as educated.

But I digress; I could be completely wrong with my ill-based assumptions. Yet, getting back to my point, the members at MNM all share a proud sentiment of accomplishment, if not victory. While some may very well be college graduates, retired doctors or lawyers, or the cliché war veteran we too often overlook, I find that certain persons were mothers or fathers, householders, and mentors. No positions that require a degree. But my point happens to focus around the fact that all these older members at MNM are on the “other side.” They worked, they loved, they lived. And in my opinion, when certain peoples are retired, on the other side, or great-grandparents, their education doesn’t seem to rank so high in their accomplishments.

Maybe that’s due to their focus on family, the greater joy in life. I’ve had the honor to hear stories of children and their children’s children (making the speaker a great-grandparent!) and there is a tangible pride that comes with that feat. And by that I mean the pictures, birth stories, and further accomplishments of their offspring all branching from that one individual that sits across from me. I presume that it’s my own, newly found fascination for the elderly. But when you read of kings and queens of old, their family crests bore great significance when their family expanded across the world’s map. While I may only be sitting in a cafeteria before we go off to work on puzzles or bingo, I believe that the value placed on family still remains to this day. I sit amongst the kings and queens of old from several generations past.

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Written by Jack Viere

November 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

3 Responses

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  1. While, I understand the point you are trying to make, college is a fundamental step in being able to “live one’s life” to the full extent. It is, often times, a college education that enables people to create a fully functional and loving family, a fruitful marriage, and beautiful memories.

    Rapunzel

    November 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    • Is it the only means for people to create all the above? The same could be brought about by a vocational profession such as
      plumbing. Or enlisted military…

      Kleshas and Tanhas

      November 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

  2. I completely agree! But, if you haven’t dreamed of plumbing your whole life, college is a much safer option which will guarantee you the ability to sustain yourself and live each day to the fullest. Enlisting, as you mention, is a wonderful, noble way of serving which does not require a college education. Yet, as you also know, life happens, and joining the military might not always be the best thing, in which case going to college gives you a secure back-up plan.

    Rapunzel

    November 6, 2011 at 9:45 am


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