Education or Connections?

Every parent has high hopes for their children. Mind you, I’m not saying every person who gives the “gift of life,” but the ones who are truly vested as parents. From the time the child is conceived, our heads are reeling with expectations with either how the child may mimic our history or fare far better. As teachers, this is our goal. But how much say do we have after implanting the initials seeds for their futures at a very young age? What counts more toward their future, an education or who they know?

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 6.56.10 AMTake my situation for example. My kids both have successful fathers, even though they are distinct opposites. One initially lied about having a degree and used his connections to vouch for him until he had a résumé that proved what he was able to glean by reading books and taking online courses in security. He’s financially inept at planning. But without kids and responsibilities, he’s living the life.

The other works his derriere 70+ hours a week as a construction foreman. The brutal hours and physical labor are taking a toll on his 62-year-old body. By the time Sunday approaches, his fun consists of dragging his clubs onto the course for a round of golf with his sons and wife.

Even though they have past entanglements with authorities. I do not. Neither of them has a degree. I do. I even graduated with a whole bunch of awards to establish how I’m outstanding. But with all that in the past, and nearly $100k in debt, I’m forced to look at the big picture and wonder what message this sends to my kids. How can I express the importance of education when mine hasn’t fulfilled anything but debt?

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 6.55.10 AMI know, I know. I sound like a whiner who drew the short end of the stick. Believe me, I understand I made the decisions I’ve made. As a writer, the competition is stiff. Some writers have the ability to connect, such as my classmates from Florida who attended Full Sail University on campus. Connections are made available to them on a regular basis. A lot don’t have kids and can travel. Unfortunately, I haven’t got those connections. And they’ve been fortunate enough to have both the connections and the education.

So, what are your thoughts? Should I teach that education is important so they can have their degrees and awards to poke their chests out? Or is the new way of survival self-education? Perhaps it isn’t what’s crammed into their heads by others, but what they strive to learn for themselves.

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