What does education mean to you? Please answer

I have written at various times on the issue of college education and each time I get some comments that I think are really deserving of hearing independent of any post/rant that I have going on.

So I ask you the reader, what does it mean to have any education? What does it mean to be educated? What do you think of our current system of education in the United States?

Personally some of the most brightest and intelligent folks I have ever met never stepped foot inside of a college. At the same time, all but one of those people have struggled greatly in the world of work because we have a system that for better or worse only sees those pieces of paper otherwise known as degrees as being valid. The one person that I have known who has not struggled has white skin privilege along with the privilege of being male and coming from an upper middle class family.

So this individual whom I have known for almost 20 years has been able to work creatively outside the box and create his own destiny. Yet even he has pushed his offspring to not take the path he has because at times its been hard to make his way financially in this world having made the conscious choice to not go to college. It wasn’t money that made him decide against it because his family had the resources to send him to college. He just felt that his life was better served by not going but by living life.

I have known too many people though who have struggled without a degree, many  in my own family. My father being the prime example. My father is a true renaissance man yet middle management was the highest he was ever allowed to climb without benefit of the almighty piece of paper. At times it has made him bitter but he has tried to not let it get him down. Yet it’s hard to see a person elevated over you when they have less knowledge and the only thing they have you don’t have is a piece of paper.

 I had the pleasure of starting my own world of work experience sans any degrees and after years of working for less cash than colleagues who had degrees, and being denied advancement opportunities on the basis that I lacked a degree, it’s the only reason I went to college and later graduate school.

Personally for me college, especially attending as an adult was a true learning experience. I have always been a voracious reader but college really opened my eyes to different ways of seeing the world. That said, I see life and living as a way to learn, if we pay attention to the world around us we are constantly being opened up to new experiences from which we can glean information.

Enough though about me and my thoughts, tell me your thoughts on education.