"The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~John Lubbock"
In recent weeks I have encountered a number of people who have grown old before their time. Even in their 20's and 30's they have lost any desire to be inspired, to learn something new, to think differently, to take chances. It's possible that somehow these people never had the drive to do any of these things, though I doubt it. Somehow they've lost their ability to be children, or at least have a sense of curiosity that is child-like.
It is incredible what one can learn with no resources other than a desire to learn. As a kid, I went to public school in a very small farm town in upstate New York. My family had very little money. What we did have was a house full of old books on every subject you could imagine. I saw how much my mother struggled, largely because she was the bread winner and had never gone to college. My grandfather, though a wonderful man, figured that she didn't have to go to college as she would never need to support a family. And financial aid was not common the way it is today.
I knew I wanted out of that very small town, and the only way I could see to get out, and honestly stay out, was through education. College was a way out of poverty, the road out of my very small town. So into my books I dove when I wasn't working one or two or three part-time jobs. We didn't have a lot of money though my mother did give me the wish to learn. And learn I did. My bet was well-placed: I did get out of that town, I did move on to many exciting adventures. The best part about learning - the more you do, the more there is to discover.
The photo above is not my original work. It can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/tdalui/CuteBabies/photo#5070687779181901250