Multiple times people have taken jabs at me on this blog because I call myself “self-educated.” I study and blog about topics that interest me in an effort to educate myself. Our minds require exercise just like our bodies do. Self-improvement is a noble endeavor. Millions of people preach the ideology of bettering our circumstances through education. So why denigrate someone’s efforts to better educate themselves?
Self-education has a distinguished history in America, beginning with many of our Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin taught himself Greek, French, Spanish, Latin, and Italian. Patrick Henry and Abraham Lincoln both taught themselves how to be lawyers. Frederick Douglass taught himself to read and write.
Self-education isn’t obsolete. Steve Jobs dropped out of college and taught himself all about computers before starting Apple with his friend Steve Wozniak.
I had a second grade student who was brilliant at science. Calling on him to answer science questions felt like cheating, since he always knew the answers. His answers were also generally well above the understanding of the rest of the class. I found out that this student woke up early every school day and spent an hour reading about science on his dad’s computer. This student struggled with reading and writing, but absolutely inhaled everything to do with science. His passion for the subject drove him to be truly self-educated in this area.
I’m certain he has a bright future ahead of him, because he passionately seeks knowledge in his area of interest.
That’s what self-education is about. It’s about making your life better and richer by furthering your own education. When you are self-educated, you can decide what you will study and how much time you will devote to study. It is the ultimate in personalized education. What you learn through self-study will be more meaningful. Most likely, you will remember it better, since you are really interested and not just studying because a teacher is making you.
The reliance upon so-called experts infuriates me.
I don’t go to a gym to exercise. I do exercise routines at home, usually from YouTube. In particular, I like the Fitness Blender channel. In their disclaimer at the beginning, they say “Fitness Blender and its partners…suggest that you consult your professional healthcare provider before attempting any exercise or exercise program.” I’m not irritated with Fitness Blender; I completely understand that they do not want to be held liable for some idiot doing an exercise wrong and trying to blame a YouTube channel. What irritates me is the reliance that our society has on always asking experts rather than rubbing two brain cells together.
We are inundated with articles like this one:
Nothing wrong with articles giving advice about reducing sugar intake. But headlines like this point to a problem in our society – the belief that people can’t figure things out for themselves, even things as simple as how to eat less sugar. (Oh, I don’t know…maybe eat less junk food.) (Note that I’m not talking about specific diseases that require the intake of a particular amount of sugar, as diabetes. I’m talking about your average person who just wants to eat healthier.)
There’s even a men’s underwear site that claims to be the “Underwear Expert,” with dozens of articles claiming to have all the perfect answers to your underwear questions. (I would link to it, but the pictures were too disturbing.)
I’m pretty sure I can figure out how to perform simple exercise routines, eat a relatively healthy diet, brush my teeth, and any number of other activities without consulting “experts.”
Similarly, we don’t need “experts” to know our own minds. We don’t need “experts” to tell us what to think, what to wear, how to vote, how to raise our children, or how to live our lives in general. And yet, one of the most common arguments liberals use in order to further their agendas is to claim people don’t know how to make good choices.
We must ban large sodas and candy bars because people can’t make good choices about their health.
We must ban un-homogenized milk because people can’t make good choices about their health.
We must not allow school choice, vouchers, and homeschooling because parents don’t know how to educate their kids.
We must not allow people to carry firearms because they will try to act the hero and actually kill more people when mass shootings occur.
We must use the CPS to take kids out of their homes for things such as letting their kids walk to the park, because parents don’t know what is good for their kids.
A lot of the liberal agenda is based on the assumption that people do not know what is good for them, or how to run their own lives.
Well, guess what? I do in fact know how to run my own life, and I’d really like liberals and their “experts” to butt out.