14 February 2013

Count Your Many Blessings - Thanks for Education

Day 2 - "Give thanks and praise for your education and for the doors it has opened for you professionally and personally."

 

"Thank you"

I recall a story told many, many years ago, when I was about seven, attending the MHA Sunny Smiles 'Festival of Queens'.  It was an event where Sunday School and youth organisations brought the money they had raised by 'selling' Sunny Smiles, photos of children who lived in MHA homes, to help raise funds for the charity.  The event was basically a service (I have vivid memories of lustily singing 'Go tell it on the mountain') with a talk about the work of MHA.  It ran roughly thus, a little girl in one of the homes was writing a letter and asked the house-mother how to spell "kyou".  The woman paused and said 'what kind of kyou?  Do you mean like a bus queue?  Or do you mean like a snooker cue?'  No, the little girl replied, I am writing a letter to the person who sent me the toys and I want to say 'than kyou'.

 

Thank you, God,

That someone thought it important enough to teach children to read and write

That someone thought such education should be freely available

That someone derived schemes for teaching literacy and numeracy

That someone taught me sounds with flashcards

That Dick and Dora, Fluff and Rover saw me onto the path of knowledge

 

Thank you, God,

That, even if the 1970s were the nadir of English education,

I had access to free musical instrument lessons

I was taught by some excellent and inspiring teachers

I was able to choose subjects that interested and fulfilled my thirst for learning

 

Thank you, God,

That I was able to study for a first degree, not once, but twice

That libraries were full of appropriate texts

Labs well equipped, placements carefully selected

That I was, and am, able to continue to study and learn

And all because

A long time ago

Someone thought it important to teach children to read

 

Thank you God,

For my education and all it has given me,

Not just the bits of paper, nice though they are

Not just the career opportunities, fulfilling as they may be

But the entrance into the world of learning and discovering

That would otherwise be impossible.

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