A Long Journey for Education

Here’s an essay I wrote for english class on the importance of education/what education is worth to me. Enjooooy

The phrase that “knowledge is power” is well-known throughout many leaders, but rather than reaching for knowledge with power in mind, I think of knowledge as freedom. Miles Davis writes that “knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery”. Freedom ability to make your own self-determined decisions, without external influence, absolute isolation from the opinions around you. To be free, you must have knowledge. I’ve come a long way to recieve an education – or rather I am the legacy of an odyssey to education, to freedom.

Since the beginning of time, we have searched for knowledge. Though I can’t trace my roots that far back, I know two things: my dad grew up in poverty so unimaginable that even I don’t believe it and my mom grew up on the rather affluent side of Nha Trang, Vietnam. Two completely different souls on polar ends of one big city.

Both of my parents studied well and passed entrance exams into decorated schools. In 1975 when South Vietnam fell to the communists, my parents were 15. Any child of a refugee will tell you 1975 was the year everything had changed. The communists ravaged families, taking land, money, girls. They enforced rules like the oldest child must become a teacher. My mom was the oldest of 10 kids and so she became a math professor, but she dreamed of engineering. My dad was the youngest of 8 kids and loved math so much, he became a professor as well. Life was well until the communists had started pressing south in violent manners. My parents fled in small boats to Palawan Refugee Camp where they lived for almost 4 years before coming to America to have me.

If anything, my parents have proved that education is worth more than an odyssey. All over the world, children risk their lives everyday to get to school. Malala Yousafzai was shot on her way to school because she’s an education activist. Being born into a country where education is a right has blinded me to the true value of school. If ever it came up, I would give my life for education. I don’t believe there is a life worth living without knowledge. In Plato’s Allegory of a Cave, one of the men is blinded by the sun (knowledge) and comes back to free the three men staring at shadows. They scoff and voice their resistance to leave the cave because ignorance is all they know to be true. Education, knowlege, is truth. From the truth, we can deduct reasoning, logic, and opinions.

I was born into a world of education, opportunity, and freedom. Education to me is representative of freedom. A chance to be who you want to be, do what you want to do, make what you want to make, have what you want to have, and so on. Malala Yousafzai took a shot to the head for her education. My parents faced communism, oppression, poverty, hunger, and near death for my education. I am blessed with education and opportunity worth more than life itself and I could never be more grateful than I already am.


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