“What you not gone is talk to me like I got a GED…”
Yeah, like many folks, that statement has come out my mouth a time or two. I ain’t even gone hold you up, but what’s wrong with that statement?
Educational System Now
What’s wrong with having a GED? Let’s be honest, we all know the educational system in this country is not sustainable for every student. We have a cookie-cutter approach that from a public education perspective does not take into account unique learning variances amongst students. Unfortunately, the current public school system does not play to everyone’s strengths, especially in this pandemic we’re all experiencing. My heart goes out to the fragile babies.
Now, I could use this moment to bring attention to the other factors, like home life, ambition level, motivation, fear, environmental effects, community, and more, but I want us to take a different look at the opening statement at hand.
Regardless of how people got there, circumstances or choices, does having a GED make anyone less human? Does that mean those with a GED shouldn’t be treated with dignity and respect? Should someone not have the right to a livable wage because he or she has a GED?
Also, you can go to college with a GED, get into some entry-level positions to work up within companies, and get a trade and perfect it.
Create the Path For You
That leads me here. Earning a college degree is no doubt a huge accomplishment for many people, but it is not the end all be all of human courtesy, kindness, decency, and respect. Another note is frankly college is not for everybody, and there is not a trace of smug condescension in the tone of that statement. College is not for everyone, and when we encourage folks to go who have no heart for it, we do them a disservice.
Even if you don’t pay out of pocket or get loans, college costs you something and those around us should also reap the benefits of our gifts, (i.e. community.) Find your purpose, ignite passion, and do the proper work. Does that mean apprenticeships, trade school, higher education, essential work, straight in the workforce, or entrepreneurship is for you? Find out. It should also be noted: everyone is not equipped for great wealth status, however, that doesn’t mean we should live scraping check to check, but this is an altogether different chat.
Whether the Janitor or CEO, there is a purpose. I will say that vehemently until I’m blue in the face, but what I need people to know is that your stature isn’t what earns you respect. The respect and goodwill you exude matter. Many of us need to relearn that. Cheers to humble pie.
If someone is lacking in an area and you have the call and opportunity to enlighten them, do so sans condescension. Patronizing people only further forces the division. With that being said, don’t assume I don’t know because I’m young, Black, and you want to disregard my gifts.
We all have to live here with one another – let’s make it livable.
PSA: Regardless of education level, social status, and background, please be good stewards of your body and overall health. Know your body, listen to your body, and take care of your body. Establish a network, do your research (REAL RESEARCH), ask questions, and get with trusted doctors.
The latter is notoriously hard for Black people in America. I have many stories of my own and from what I’ve witnessed, but it is not for the faint of heart. You are here for a reason. Do not take that lightly. Whether you have a GED or 10 degrees, advocate for yourself. A piece of self-advocacy is also empowering trusted individuals to surround you when you’re unable to speak for yourself or help you in areas where you lack knowledge. We can all learn something new. Remember that.
If no one has shown you today, I love you but God loves you better.