On Friday, Veritas Academy, which is run by my good friend Michael Phillips, had a graduation ceremony. Graduation is a unique event, because we are celebrating something that has happened in the past, yet it is almost always called a “Commencement” because the focus is on what it will look like in the future. There is no other event in our culture where we celebrate the past with a focus on the future.
This celebration is prevalent. My son’s school has a similar ceremony this coming week. We had a little bit of a different recognition in church this morning, and I would be shocked if someone told me that they had never seen one. Every time I see a graduation, I am reminded of the line in The Incredibles where he touts over-celebration of mediocrity.
The truth is that I believe in education a great deal. I have achieved three college degrees and have done work towards another degree. With that in mind, I am aware of the tendency to over-celebrate, but if there is one thing we should reward, it is education.
Now clearly, not everyone is purposed for a college education, and I understand that. I also teach people who want to get a real estate license, and I have been in the classroom for security officer, mortgage broker, or life and health insurance licensing.
These classes are important, too. Because one thing that is essential, no matter what your chosen occupation, is you need to prepare. I have been known to tell people to never stop preparing for your future. “The longer your preparation, the greater your opportunity.” So continue to follow the Proverbs 4 model of attempting to attain wisdom, no matter the area of study.
But as I take a more global view, I have noticed that in this economy, the one industry that has changed the least is education. I had a front row seat to the recent real estate market collapse. Now, there are an infinite number of factors that played into it, but among the most prevalent was mortgage money being so easily acquirable.
Marc Cuban thinks that the availability of education loans will spell the death of the industry. While I am not sure I will go that far, I am persuaded that changes need to occur. Having worked at a few school attempting to re-tool their programs, including a college, I know that these are not easy decisions to make.
While we may see the re-introduction of trade schools or some other way to re-educate people, something must (and will) happen. The government cannot continue to give away money to people in school. I know some people first-hand, who are going back to school at older ages, because it is easier than getting a job. Obviously, anything that discourages productivity must eventually take a hit.
Conceivably, education is good for the future of the economy, there are now more gaps than there have been in years between those things learned in school and those usable skills. The schools which find a way to combat the expenses for when the loan money dries up will be successful. I, for one, hope that is a great number, as I’d love to see a more educated society.