Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mama On: Learning

"Once it's in your head, no one can ever take it away."

My mother was very good about pointing this out, especially to me, because I was her own. Her point, more than anything else, was to be sure that I knew that knowledge is invaluable and worth the inspiration and effort it takes to get it. She wanted me to stay in school. She wanted me to be brave and to forge ahead in life. She felt compelled to let me know that knowledge was meant to be filtered and tempered with all of the sensitivity and power of a joyful and caring heart. She was certain that with an adequate education, my future would be secure. She never knew that I would have to stalk security.

And it's not just me.

I know that every year there are millions of graduates who share my mother's opinion and that there are thousands of Mamaknologists among them, people who will use their educations and build upon them, to help make this a better world, given the chance. But what happens to them in this economy, when there are no jobs and a world of rapidly shifting options?

You fall back and punt, my mother would say. Fall back on what you know; use what you've got to get where you have to go. Life doesn't have to have a designer label or a long-term guarantee, and it is most certainly not a dress rehearsal -- but once it's in your head, no one can ever take it away. So the Mamaknologist take on our situation and this economy is don't let the bad stuff find a home in your head. This is the time to build on the things we have learned and not just make them work, but to find triumph in them. Now is the time to make a life of the good things that we've learned and to look forward to what we will be on the other side of the hard times and belt tightening.

Now is the time to focus on not being bitter. Now is the time to rise to the occasion and make the most of our accrued knowledge and what it has made us. The Mamaknologist in me says that my mother was right -- she just didn't tell me how flexible knowledge was.