The thunderous applause Brent Webb received after joking that we’d have to cancel afternoon classes due to the length of Mitt Romney’s introduction made me wonder, in this season of Thanksgiving, are we grateful for our education? Don’t get me wrong; I too was very pleased with the prospect of going home and relaxing after the Forum. However, I also thought about the sacrifices others in developing countries make to go to school and get an education.
Personally, I hate the cold and am quick to complain about the icy walkways and freezing-cold conditions I encounter during my five-minute walks in between classes. I’m humbled when I think about how many children have to walk more than five kilometers to even get to their school. We shouldn’t feel guilty for the luxuries we experience here in America, but we should appreciate them and be aware of the difficulties faced by others all over the world.
Many children are unable to get an education because the costs are simply too high. In a purely economic view, children in many rural areas are seen by their parents as assets, workers on their farm who contribute to the family’s income. But, when they go to school they become liabilities, mouths to feed that are unable to spend as much time helping at home. The incentives for a good education are also low. The costs are generally too high in developing countries, and it often is not worth the investment due to the lack of opportunities for skilled labor in the area.
We as students of BYU have much to be grateful for, especially for the accessibility and quality of our education and the opportunities ahead that will provide a rewarding return on our investment.