Education in our family is a lifelong activity. I now have two daughters in their late-forties enrolled in university for advanced degrees. I am helping one of them with tuition and my husband laughs at me saying that he is putting his foot down.
“No more help when the kids reach sixty,” he says.
I did the same thing when I was in my late-thirties, going back to school and studying for a career in mental health. Though I never worked in the field, what I learned helped me a great deal in managing museums and creating the Museum Tour Catalog company. Learning how to talk to all types of people, listen to their concerns, and understand the pushes and pulls in their everyday lives is vital to managing personnel in any business.
In these recession years, a large part of our population is getting reeducated. Community colleges, private and state universities, and certificate programs abound. People have time on their hands, no job prospects, so what better way to keep yourself busy than return to school.
Currently in the United States, 25% of children drop out of high school. In addition, 17% is the real rate of unemployment when the long-term unemployed are counted. Many of our youth are not prepared for anything but life on the streets. What can they possible do to earn a living wage? Our factories are closed, fast food joints pay little, and the need for muscle labor has disappeared. Even enrolling in the military requires a high school diploma. Labor unions used to have apprenticeship programs that trained young people for good jobs. As the unions shrank, the programs disappeared and the options for training diminished.
In an ideal world, wouldn’t it be great if these disenfranchised children got the message and joined the ranks of the educated? Imagine a country with people working, libraries filled with readers, streets empty of vagrants, and our prison population diminished because there is less idleness leading to crime.
Democracy depends on an educated population. And I cannot think of anything more important to our nation than ensuring that our citizens can read, do math, communicate effectively, understand history and current events, exercise, and yes, have a constructive hobby to occupy free time.
If we all embraced the goal of an educated working class as the highest of priorities, then our politicians would find a way. If we graded those in Congress on whether they succeeded with this goal, the bipartisan politics would give way to problem solving for the good of the country.
Our customers are fortunate. They are the educated and have resources to make and carry through with intelligent decisions. They understand the value of working towards a goal. Judging by the books and learning kits purchased from us, they are well-educated people who can find their way navigating the world.
I believe in the old idea of “noblesse oblige”, a French phrase that means nobility obliges. It implies that with wealth, power, and prestige comes the responsibility to lead, manage, and share. I see us as obliged to help others that are less fortunate, knowing that as we benefit others we also will enjoy their success because we will live in a safer world.
This sense of obligation is why Museum Tour has organized to make donations to others in less fortunate circumstances. It enables us to help schools in poor areas, children in military families, handicapped organizations, and a host of programs that serve the needy. We work with our vendors to assist with the donation process but it is not enough. This year in particular many families need your help more than ever. We ask you to help us help them. Click here to make a donation. Thank you in advance for believing in education for all.