Education Is the Key that Unlocks Success in Our Lives (by Ray Overdorff)

Education Is the Key that Unlocks Success in Our Lives (by Ray Overdorff)

“Some say our Education system is broken. Some say teachers aren’t qualified—don’t care. Some say it’s the Students. They just don’t get it and don’t want to learn, or it’s the parents; they’re not supportive and don’t create the right environment. Parents, Students, Teachers, the System! There’s plenty of blame to go around. The real question, ‘What’s the bottom-line, where do we stand as a nation on education?’ In truth, we’re no longer number one. Japan, Germany, and France all outperform the U.S. in Math and Science (our strong suite) as well as in reading and writing. What’s even worse is a hefty one-third of High School graduates lack the basic life skills to function effectively in our economic system. We won’t even discuss our youth’s overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes issues.”

“Suppose you provide for and nurture a baby lion into a healthy adult animal—without offering any of the skill development that their mother would provide. Then, as soon as they fully develop, you drop them off in the Serengeti. What are the odds of survival? Slim to none! Here’s the question? ‘What are we doing to our youth?’”

“This past spring I had the opportunity to attend a High School graduation and listen to six top performers share their 3-minute insights about the future. I thought to myself, ‘What can I possibly learn from six teenagers in three-minute intervals?’ Six speeches later with tears in my eyes, the only words I could utter we’re “WOW! WOW!’”

“I would like to share one speech from that senior six and you decide if the system’s broken, are the teachers qualified, do the students not get it, and are the parents not supportive, or is it just another inadequate leadership issue? What can we do to reclaim our position as number one in education? Let’s see if maybe there are some solutions in this senior’s speech.”

“Good evening,

Education is the key that unlocks success in our lives. It has the power to change the way we view the world. It is our generation that will use what we have learned to add to and improve the world. High school is only the beginning of the road to a complete education. We must become lifelong learners. This is only the first step, but it is where we have established the foundation we need to be successful throughout our journey.

I have found that knowledge comes from understanding, and understanding comes from questioning. The way we learn to think for ourselves is by asking questions. Do not be too quick to believe what you are told. Question all theories. Use your power to think independently, and never be afraid to ask questions. Questions propel change. The answers they encourage shape and remodel the way the world thinks. Use your imagination. Create your own theories and ideas, and discover where this can take you.

Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’ Remember this as you go on. Do not be afraid to imagine. Imagine, dream, and inspire the world. There are no limits and no boundaries save those you choose to accept, and therefore we must always remind ourselves that our beliefs have consequences. If you believe something is impossible, then, for you, it will be. But if you think and believe you can achieve it, you will find a way. And so, my friends and fellow classmates, I leave you with this: Follow your dreams and believe in your own power. You can do anything, and go anywhere your mind can take you.

Thank You.

By Samantha Weaver

Samantha is Ray’s granddaughter and has been exposed self-leadership concepts her entire life. 

My deepest thanks to both Ray and Samantha for doing my work for me on this blog.

Grant Stewart