To Be Educated
I just finished reading Educated by Tara Westover and it definitely left an impression on me. Tara grew up in a family where they did not value education because they believed it was the way government brainwashed people. “College is extra school for people too dumb to learn the first time around,” is what Tara’s father said when she asked him what college was. Instead he believed it was better to scrap metal for a living and not rely on any government establishments (including hospitals, schools, medicine, etc).
Reading this book made me reflect on how I was raised. When it came to education, my father enforced it. He believed that a good education solves problems. And he is right. Growing up I never knew what it meant to be “educated” or why it was important. As a little dumbass, I thought education was needed to get good grades in school so you don’t get a whooping. As a dumbass teen, I thought an education was needed to get into a good college. As a young dumbass adult, I thought education was needed to land a good job.
After graduating college and being launched into the real world, I realized that education is more than just getting into a good college or avoiding a whooping. Education is a process of applying what you learned from experience to optimize the opportunities for yourself and others. In the book, Tara decides to go to college and ended up writing Educated which went on inspiring so many people. If she stayed in her hometown, Buck’s Peak, then she would not have the opportunity to write the book and inspire all those people.
Anyways, Educated made me realize how much I took my father for granted. We didn’t see eye-to-eye, nor did I agree with his methods nor some beliefs but at least he valued education and bestowed it on me.