Alright, I’ve spoken on this topic before and I will most likely speak on it again. I’ll warn you right now that this article is slightly charged with passion & bias. That’s because I have recently come face to face with something I consider to be very important. It’s the importance of work and in obtaining for ourselves that which we have. There are times when we are given things and don’t think much about their source. As we grow we are provided for. Ideally our parents give us a home, share with us love and feed & clothe us as necessary. As we grow older we begin to be expected to participate in the run of the home. We may learn household chores that help our mothers or yard work to help our fathers (and please drop all the “that’s not politically correct” judgments, I’ve no need of them and neither should you. Look past the words to the principle). Some however never learn that what they have been given to sustain their lives has been gifted to them, if withheld they could have been much worse off at best and dead at worst.

Learning to value your online college classes doesn’t begin with the registration paperwork. It begins much sooner than that. While we live in a world (in the US & many other “developed” countries) of “free” education, “free” government services and more, it sometimes feels like we have forgotten that nothing is free. Freedom is sometimes won with the blood of soldiers who had families, homes and lives to look after. A child who receives the gift of a car from a parent for their 16th birthday received it (assuming honest parents) from the hard work and time put in by someone who loves them. Similarly, when we receive “free” school, there are people’s lives, people’s breath and sweat and blood that have gone into providing that.

What happens when we forget from whence our gifts and blessings come? We take them for granted and can even grow to insist on their presence in our lives. Do you see a problem here? What happens when I insist that my neighbor pays for my online college classes? Well, he may not do it. If we’re friends and he has money, he may, but most likely, especially if we insist on it, he will tell us to shove off (though he may use more polite words).

It is not the place of anyone to insist that another pays their way in life, but isn’t that what we do when we use public funds for individuals to go to school? But isn’t it wonderful to provide free education for everyone? It may be if it were possible, but it’s not free. But on the flip side, maybe it wouldn’t even be the best. How much does a child value a car that was given to him by his parents? How would he treat it compared to a car that he spent two years working and saving for? How does a soldier view their freedom compared to the average citizen?

You see what I’m getting at? While no one can put a blanket statement on those who receive their freedom at no personal cost or a car as a gift, we can say that those who have to work and sacrifice for what they have tend to have a much deeper understanding of what those things cost. They value it more readily and often treat it with much greater care. See if this holds true. Ask 10 people you know that worked themselves through school and 10 people that had it paid for them (minus the merit based scholarship crowd, they most likely have a strong work ethic already) how deeply value their education. Don’t mention this theory beforehand; it may bias your results. J

Work hard, appreciate what you are given and be generous in sharing and you’ll be fine. By doing this you may just value your online college education much more.

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