How a Great Education Hinders You

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I believe I had a great education. I had an incredible foundation built upon Sonlight. I broadened my perspective in public high school. I absorbed the University world. I knew my stuff.

But a troubling thought kept nagging the back of my mind. I had completely failed to demonstrate my great education again and again. The most notable example was when we were playing a game of Password in high school. I was the one guessing the word and my friend, Joey, gave me the clue word mandible. The other team groaned. They tried to argue that that was cheating because you couldn't give the password in your clue. The moderator let it stand and Joey looked at me expectantly.

I was completely blank. "I have no idea," I said.

"WHAT!?!" Joey was incredulous. "This is so obvious," my team assured me.

But I had no idea what a mandible was. My great homeschool education had left out this crucial piece of information and now my team was going to lose a game of Password because of my ignorance. I don't get embarrassed easily, but I'm pretty sure I turned bright red. I was humiliated. I had failed.

Perhaps it's just me, but I want to defend the fact that my homeschool education was a great one. In so doing I will occasionally turn down an opportunity to learn something in order to save face. I'll let the unknown word roll by. I won't ask for clarification. I'll let the pride in my "great education" suppress the very thing that makes my Sonlight-based education so great: A natural, life-long love of learning.

My dad does not have this problem at all. He soaks in knowledge and always has questions. As a kid I found this embarrassing. "Come on, dad!" I'd want to say. "You're smarter than that!"

How wrong I was. My dad is as educated as he is because he freely admits where he is ignorant. By doing so he learns more than ever and becomes even more educated.

The heart of my response is too often pride. My dad's incredible humility has made him one of the most informed people I know. I'm slowly beginning to realize that a truly great education is one that leaves you open to learning more. My self-serving defense of my education is actually a disservice to me and my learning.

Sonlight gave me a great education because I love to learn. From this day forward I purpose to no longer let the defense of my great education get in the way of what made my education great.

Just like my dad.

Happy Father's Day!

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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