Sunday, July 13, 2014

Knowledge is Power

Although I don't consider myself to be a gladiator or a huge fan of the popular sitcom, Scandal came to mind immediately when I was thinking about what to write for this post. Not sure which episode I'm referring to, but during an intense altercation between Olivia Pope and her dad, one that seemed more like a lecture, I was reminded of something that both of my parents have warned me about my entire life; that as a black woman, I have to work twice as hard to have half of the privileges of the majority.  The older I am, the more I understand it. I think it's something any minority group can relate to, especially those overachievers who come to America and bust their asses to make something of themselves. It may seem like an unfair and harsh reality, but it doesn't change what is.  This is why education is so important to me now, because I didn't get it until I experienced life the hard way.

Certainly, education isn't limited to nor does it begin in a classroom.  Education is utilizing as many resources available as possible contingent with a person's individual interest, whether that is to go the traditional route as far as school goes or finding a career based program to learn new skills. Just like we learn to run by walking first, learn to walk by crawling first, it's the same process with everything else. Even when it comes to talents, we must know how to do something before we can acknowledge it as a gift. No one comes out the womb shooting a perfect 3 point shot, playing a flawless cadenza on the keyboard, or coding a state-of-the-art software system. No one. As humans, we connect to our strengths and weaknesses through learning; we hone our strengths and improve our weaknesses through practice. 

College, at least in my case, is more about overcoming than it is succeeding. I'm typically not one to victimize myself as "one of the oppressed", but the cold truth is, institutionalized learning was never a system that was constructed with an intent for me to win.  Complaining like some scatter-brained conspiracy theorist and being totally against it doesn't propel me forward; that mentality is counter-progressive. Therefore, the ultimate challenge in completion and obtaining that degree is about making a system designed against me, work for me in the long run. 

Knowledge is power. People say money is power, but what good is money without knowing how to manage it? Give every person in a highly populated society all 10 million dollars each and there would still be a separation of class, the thin blurry lines between greedy, hungry, and starving. (This is just an example and not to exclude happiness as the most important element of it all.) There are a lot of people who profit greatly from bamboozling the ignorant and I refuse to be one of them. God gave me this beautiful mind for a greater purpose, to fulfill a plan that I can't even imagine for myself, as well as a world filled with resources. Why would I not use both as much as I possibly can? To be content with ignorance is disrespectful to the creator, so I always aim higher and strive to do better. 

- ♥ Chymere Anais

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