Tag Archives: vision

College: Is it really necessary?

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Some friends and I were talking a few days ago and we happened to get on the topic of college. That conversation was probably one of my favorites since I love talking about and understanding the impact that our choices have on our lives and on society as a whole.

So, one of my friends said that he and his wife feel that having a college education is very much needed to get to where you want to be in this life. A few of my friends were torn in what they truly believed or had no real opinion about it one way or another. The majority of my friends felt like most of their parents expected them to go to college and obtain a degree and, as such, they knew they would require this of their own offspring as well. I was joined by only one other friend who felt that while a college degree is great to pursue it is not absolutely necessary for lifelong success.

I’m of the belief that when the Lord has called you to a particular thing He will open the doors – that you will need opened – to get you to where He’s called you to go. God can, will and has already given you certain gifts that will help you on your journey of life. One of my dearest friends, who barely finished high school and is one of the smartest people I know, has a very evident gift of knowledge. A gift of knowledge, for those who don’t know, is having a mind that is able to figure out, quickly learn or just plain know things that most people only know if they’re “formally” taught those things. This is the way that the gift has manifested itself in my friend however, I am sure it can manifest itself in other ways as God wills. All in all, this IS a real gift that can make a person look – and sound – college educated without actually being so.

I understand that it is the goal of colleges and recruiters to enroll as many students as possible. That is their mission and their job and I’m not mad at them for taking their jobs seriously and holding their position in high regards. I’m appreciative to these institutions for being here for the many people who can, will, have been called and do desire to attend college. What frustrates me is that we, as parents, are not truly in prayer for our children and for our children’s futures. What grieves my heart is that we are not consulting God – in everything that we do – in how we are raising, what we are speaking and how we are guiding our children. Since my belief is that not everyone is supposed to go to college, it makes no sense for those individuals to go and put themselves in the position to incur student loans and other debts for an education that they will either never fully use or walk down a path that they’ve not been called to in the first place.

No wonder why so many college students change their majors on average 3 times before settling on one. We are sending our children into the world and expecting them, at 18 years old, to have a well thought out, surefire plan so that we can feel good about sending them out to begin and fulfill that plan. We are not setting our children up for success but rather for failure. If we will be real, we can all see how this is sending a message to our kids that conformity is better than being distinct. This message says, “Don’t have your own dreams, goals or vision, just do what everyone else is doing and be what everyone else is being and everything will be fine. Oh yeah, and God doesn’t need to know about this but you can bring Him along for the ride!” Are we serious?!?

I said all of this to say that it is up to us to understand how we are gifted, know what we have been called to do and to be obedient and walk in that calling and our own individual purpose. I know of so many people who believe if you do not hold a college degree, that you are uneducated and/or unintelligent and thus not on their level. This could not be further from the truth. I also know of those who believe so deeply in being college educated that if, for some reason, they are not able to attend college their identity and self-worth suffers. I was one of those people but thank God for grace!

As you can see, this is one of those topics that I could talk about for hours. It intrigues me, indeed. But enough of my thoughts on the subject, I’d love to get a real dialogue going. Go ahead, chime in and let me know your perspective.

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A Revolution Of Support

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One of the best feelings in the world is, quite possibly, knowing that you’re supported by the people you love and are fond of. There is nothing like it! Imagine for a moment, you had another horrible day at work and you decide you are going to resign and start your own business. You get home and call a friend or speak with your significant other and during the conversation you reveal that you are planning to quit your job and move on to something that makes you happy and gives you purpose. Your friend/ significant other begins to tell you how stupid your idea is and tries to discourage you from going after your dream. Does that make you feel good? Does that make you want to continue to be friends or in a relationship with that person? Is this type of behavior and response building you up or tearing you down? My point exactly.

There are so many wonderfully creative, talented and capable people who never reached their greatest potential because they were fearful, hindered or never allowed or encouraged to go after their dreams. What a tragedy! Seriously, how sad is that? I believe that some of what keeps up from reaching our greatest potential is because we do not truly know and embrace who we are and what we are passionate about. How would it look if every one of us understood our God-given gifts and talents? Even more, how would the world be changed if every one of us followed our dreams and did something that we were passionate about? I think this type of teaching must begin in the home with parents and partners encouraging each other to make, keep and reach their goals. It seems that children, and adults alike, nowadays are being told what they cannot do rather a-team-is-jeffrey-benjamin-quotethan being encouraged to do the impossible.

There is a generation of people who feel entitled but are not motivated to change the world and serve or give back to others. This, my friends, is a serious problem. Many of us are all about numero uno and we could care less about the dreams and aspirations of others around us. Therefore, we do not generally encourage one another to excel in new things. I  can remember, growing up, being very afraid to tell people what I wanted to be when I grew up because it was very unrealistic, especially in the community that I mostly grew up in. However, I had a grandmother who inspired me and encouraged me to dream big and never stop striving to make those dreams a reality. It is because of this support and love that I began to believe that I could be a writer and that my name would be known around the world. You can say that my dreams are very big, almost impossible according to most, but I know who I am now and I know the talents that God has given me and now, I graciously walk in those gifts and talents.

Encouraging our children – the next generation – is an absolute must! If we sit around – as parents, educators, society – we stand a chance of our future being stifled and our children never knowing what it means or what it looks like to dream and to have those dreams come true. What kind of legacy are we truly leaving to our children and other future generations? If we do not teach our youth now, then they will not feel obligated to teach their children and future generations will perish. The Bible tells us, in Proverbs 29:18, that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…“. This shows us that we have to be supportthe ones who will stand and make that vision for our own homes, lives and the world in its entirety.

We have become a selfish generation and I think it’s about time for that to end. We are seeing the aftermath, everywhere, in today’s society. From women fighting and backstabbing each other on most, if not all, of this country’s reality television shows to politicians – living in their own little worlds – having no real concern about the people, the state of our economy and other world matters. There needs to be a shift in our society. Despite what many may believe, that shift can indeed start with just one person. I am that person. I will be that person. This is a call for us to stand up and support one another, fully and freely. A call to stop being so self-centered and self-absorbed that you do not realize the dying and hurting world around you. How will you contribute to this call?