I woke up thinking about a question I saw a while back: "Why is it easier to believe that 150,000,000 Americans are being lazy than that 400 Americans are being greedy?" I think the question was posed by someone of the Occupy persuasion (but I can't find a source).
In answer, my brain kept asking, "Have you not been to school?"
Maybe I'm still stuck on Mrs. C's post about kids who drop out of school when they are required to retake a year they failed. When I graduated from high school, half of my fellow classmates had dropped out. Based on that experience alone, I have no trouble believing that 50% of America's 300+ million population struggle.
But are they lazy?
Some are, sure. But others are disillusioned by a system that fails them. Many are stuck in situations that don't encourage them to move forward; socioeconomic pressures affect people. And let's not forget the kids who find school disheartening, something that Dr. Sax brilliantly illustrates in Why Gender Matters. And while an education absolutely does not equate to employment, there's something to be said for learning how to be punctual, figuring out what people want of you, working smart, and managing your time to complete assignments as required. If you don't do that in school, you'll likely have trouble in a job.
150 million people are not lazy. But there are many reasons why they may not be successful.
On the flip side, are the wealthiest Americans greedy?
I'm certain some are. But when I look at a list of the top 100, many of the people don't strike me as the problem. Maybe the 25 of the finance world are, but I wouldn't know. What I see, instead, are people who were able to make it big by being outliers. My mom is an excellent example. When she started Sonlight more than 20 years ago, she pioneered the literature-rich homeschool model. Her efforts paid off after working for years making 20 cents an hour. Today, literature-based homeschool curriculum dominates a large portion of the home education market. Numerous knock-offs have been founded based on her ideas. She started a wave that didn't exist before. And now, we have a profitable and successful company. A company that seeks to give away half of its profits to important work around the world.
[As an aside: just because Mark Zuckerberg is currently "valued" at $9 billion... I'm pretty sure he doesn't have that much money in his bank account.]
I wonder if one of the reasons we don't understand wealth and how the wealthy use their resources is because of how few great biographies there are on the topic. One factor would be that there are only 100 people in the top 100... limiting the number of possible great examples. Another is that super wealth for individuals not in government seems to be a recent phenomenon. And since a love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, it may be difficult to find people who amass large amounts of money and still seek to use it to expand God's Kingdom. But they are out there!
By homeschooling, you are in a position to overcome most of the issues I outlined above facing the "lazy" in our country. What's even better: It doesn't matter which curriculum you use. Simply by being involved in your student's education, your students tend to do better. Plain and simple.
Homeschooling also affords you opportunities to let your children pursue their interests while instilling your values. You may be raising the creator of the next revolution in our lives, be it in technology, agriculture, medicine, social reform, religious thought, or otherwise. By giving your students a global perspective and a heart for the world, they can grow up excited to use whatever wealth God gives them to expand His Kingdom and bless others. If you're not sure where to start, join our latest giving opportunity today.
I'd be remiss not to close with this reminder: Many of the most influential people in the world have been those who simply chose to follow God's call. They may not have been billionaires or brainiacs, but God used them in many powerful ways. You meet such people again and again throughout Sonlight's Core programs.
May your children grow up neither lazy nor greedy. Instead, may they change the world in the ways God directs.
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester