How Education and Language Use Shape Our Life Experience
Education provides equal opportunity for self-advancement to all members of the society and fosters national unity. People have been living in a society from time immemorial. It is human nature to live among others for mutual benefit and well-being. Considering this fact, there are codes of conduct that govern every human society. It is worth noting that social order is the manner in which a society is organized. The society has greatly changed over the centuries from the ancient world to what we know today as the modern world has access to education. In the past, provision of basic education was on racial grounds subjecting people of other races to ignorance and servitude. This act had a negative impact on the ‘common’ citizen and greater extended the poor who never saw education as a need because of their status in the society.
Today every American has an equal chance to access education despite their social status. Education enables people to have a greater picture of the society they live in. On the other hand, a language is a tool for expression of one’s thoughts and ideas. It is especially true about English because it is the national and official language in America. It unites the citizens of the country. It gives the opportunity for effective communication all over the country and serves as the medium of passing education. Professor Schlesinger acknowledges the importance of language and education in the society. He states that America succeeded in unifying its people with a common language despite the different origins of the citizens. He reiterates the sentiments of the former British prime minister who marveled at the success of America in forging a people of a single culture from different countries and races (Schlesinger, n.pn)..
Most American families access education services compared to other countries. It has enabled the country to maintain social order. Through education, the society integrates to a single ideology of appreciating diversity. It is important to note that the American public schools played a key role in this unification. The administrators of that time understood the role of education and its convenience is created in the process. Schlesinger expressed concerns that if the education system is transformed, for example, it focuses on different ethnic origins, it will result in suppression of the social unity. Education has led to achievements of social development by minority groups. He disagrees with the suggestion that history and literature can be taught as therapies to minority groups instead of being taught as a discipline. I believe that the United States should be an example to the world (Schlesinger, n.pn).
I believe that we have the equal opportunity to achieve what we desire in our life. People have different goals and intents to achieve. The definition of success varies with individuals, however, for one to have a clear path to self-advancement one factor remains constant. That factor is education. In the article ‘Breaking the silence’, Henry Louis Gates JR quoted his father’s sentiments (n.pn) ‘if our people studied calculus like we study basketball’. This statement shows the concern that his father had for the youths who would rather watch sports than study. The man knows the value of education. He affirms that education is the ladder that one must use to climb the social order. The difficulty and stigmatization Henry Louis Gates went through in his pursuit of education reveals how much he had to sacrifice to get education (Gates, n.pn).
Dr. Willie Herenton and Dr. James Comer (1991) hold the same sentiments as the author’s father. They believe that the black community has changed and neglected the values they stood for during slavery. These successful people in the black society acknowledge the set back in the society. The author appeals to his readers to learn from these people in order to embrace education to make their lives better. Evidently, anti-intellectualism culture is growing in America. Many young people believe that they have better chances of becoming a professional footballer instead of a lawyer. It is a false perception and it is time for parents to consider molding their children to appreciate education. The quote “Our people can least afford to be anti-intellectual” (Gates, n.pn) shows that president Obama shares the belief that education gives us the means necessary to excel.
He emphasizes the importance of education to the future and stability of the country. Mr. Obama argues that the black society hesitates to deliberate on education certainly, because it is either a cultural or a societal problem. As far as language is concerned, Mr. Crosby believes that when black youth let to be monolingual, the economic and imaginative possibilities are limited.
In my view, the article “Delusions of grandeur” (1991) tries to prove the fact that society and other several external factors are at fault regarding the importance of education. These misconceptions are actively spread in the society and directly related to the wrong beliefs mentioned above. Society holds a double standard approach towards education and other “high value” positions in society. The article argues that athletes get more appreciation than professionals do, such as doctors who make a bigger impact based on the academic prowess (Gates, n.pn). This misplaced delight is partially the reason that almost every member of society believes that it is much simpler to become a sports megastar as compared to the perceived efforts required to become a learned individual in the society. This perception is partly to blame for the assumption that education does not play an active role in equipping individuals with the necessary tools to take their place in society
In my opinion, the fault does not lie with the education system but from the society we live in. Individuals who have excelled in other aspects of life are highly regarded in comparison to their academic counterparts. Such individuals as celebrities distort the difference between desires and success. We allow them to shape society as they wish while we give a blind eye. It highlights my point that education only equips the individual subjected to it with the right tools to face a society. The impact of education on an individual’s life is highly dependent on what society perceives of the individual and his or her education. It leads to the high unemployment rates as well as the growth of lost generation that is currently causing concerns. It is common to find an individual with highly credited education achievements missing out on job opportunities and consequently success in life. Eventually, such individual choose to believe the myth propagated by society that other means of success such as sports and acting careers are more viable than the pursuit of academic excellence. The delusions of grandeur will continue to persist unless the leaders and the society take a firm course of action.