Quest in Roots:
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THE VALUE OF EDUCATION
I place great value on education, and to give you my reasons, I am going to tell you some of my own experiences. I certainly am not proud of them nor do I wish to boast, but I want to try to impress upon you the different ways that a person may look upon life.
I started my schooling at a little rural school in this country. Then I went to Ontario and with some pushing, completed the public school grades. When it came time for me to go to high school, my parents gave me the choice of taking a commercial course or a matriculation course. Of course, I naturally chose the commercial because it was only a twoyear course, and I would do anything to get out of going to school and have time to play hockey as often as possible.
Now I want to ask you, who suffered for my foolishness? Certainly only myself. Then consider the disloyalty to my parents. They did not get value for the money they spent on my education, not because of poor institutions or poor teachers, but simply because I was an indifferent student. I surely see the folly of it now, and have no person to blame but myself.
You hear a lot about teachers being too strict.
It is my humble opinion that they are not strict enough. If a student wants to learn and tries, a teacher will not be unreasonable; and ifstudents are so unconcerned about their future that they will not apply themselves, then I say it is time for some persuasion! I hope that you young people stop to consider what an education will mean to you. I hope that you see and realize that a person does not get very far nowadays without an education. I wonder if you ever compare the wonderful opportunities you have, with the limited opportunities your parents had. Think of the sacrifices your parents are making on your behalf. They realize the need of an education because they did not receive one, and are doing everything possible to provide an education for you.
Your obligation to them and to yourselves, as well as your loyalty to your teachers, require that you do not fool away your time, nor go to school simply because you cannot avoid it. Jump right in and be a 100 per cent student! You will never be sorry.
I hope that you boys and girls realize the fact that you are the foundation of the next generation, and to be a good foundation it is necessary to have an education. Also, to be good citizens you must be straight forward, honorable and loyal; your habits must be exemplary; you must have integrity, and a good education. I am sure that all of you want to qualify for citizenship.
In Turkey, up to the present time, the education system was practically non-existent, Now it has been made almost like our own system, with education being compulsory; everybody must learn regardless of age. Their need of education is realized.
I am going to try to give you some illustrations and facts. About 1880, two boys started to the same school in a New England town; they both had the same chance in every way. The first boy was easy going; the second tried to learn and get along. When the time came for a broader outlook, the first thought only of pleasure and ease; the second of study and employment. Now where are they today? The first is a bum at the saloon on the street corner of his home town; the second is the world''s greatest Y.M.C.A. man, Dr. John R. Mott.
Here are a few figures setting out the financial value of education. The average wage of men at the age of 30 years, who went only to public school, is $600 per year. The average wage of men at the age of 30 years, who completed high school, is $1200 per year. The average wage of men at the age of 30 years, who attended college, is $2500 to $3000 per year.
The boy who leaves school and goes to work at the age of 14 years, earns on the average of $26,000 up until the time that he is 65 years old. The boy who remains to complete high school, earns on an average of $65,000 up until the time he reaches the age of 65. The $39,000 difference in earnings represents the dollar value of education. Statistics in Canada and the United States have shown that every day a boy spends and learns in high school, is worth $10 to him.
There is one point on which I do not want to be misleading, and that is: do not think that because a person has an education, he or she must have a white-collar job. Some of the biggest salaries are paid to men who have had to ''get out and get under''.
In conclusion, here are some provacative thoughts for you: Tennyson or Longfellow could take a piece of paper write a poem on it, and it would be worth $65,000 - that''s genius. Henry Ford could take a slip of paper and write a few words on it and it would be worth $6,000,000 - that''s capital.
The Dominion of Canada can take half an ounce of silver, stamp a crowned head on it, and it is worth SOl!: that''s money. A craftsman can take material worth $5, and make it into watch springs worth $1000 - that''s skill. A man in Toronto can take a piece of canvas costing SOl!:, and paint a picture on it, making it worth hundreds of dollars - that''s art.
A merchant can take an article worth 75q:, and sell it for $7 - that''s business. A woman can purchase a new hat for $7, but prefers one that costs $27 - that''s foolishness. A ditch digger works for 10 hours and handles a lot of dirt for $2.50 - that''s labor. A boy or girl who wants to get along and make good, stays in high school - that''s common sense.
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