Don Pablo Edronkin

A Brief Essay on Persistence and Education.

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If you are back into square one, take advantage of the occasion to improve yourself and correct your mistakes on your way.

Setbacks are only temporary as long as you don't want them to become permanent. More than any piece of technical knowledge, Ivy-League universities or amounts of money, I believe that persistence and the will to try again despite any circumstances is what will help anyone succeed and attain his or her goals.

Our educational system is not right in this regard; while knowledge is important, we should focus more on intentions and teach our children to persist, to keep on despite what might happen around them.

The risk of living in advanced societies is that we learn to take everything for granted; we have electricity, hospitals, aircraft, laws, etc. which is nice but somewhat dangerous because freedom suffers.

Just look at your own situation: probably you have to pay a mortgage, a rent or shares, you have credit cards and debts of all kinds that may or may not be fair, but are cutting your most-basic forms of freedom: you really don't own what you have, and you can't just go away whenever you want.

Thus, our concept of property and our idea of freedom of movement are not quite like what our real freedom is, which is dependent on a web of social, financial and political contracts that are not always advantageous to us.

One way to regain freedom is to earn more money; thus, you don't remain so dependant on credit; but you can't become a millionaire in just a day, and you must have the stamina to work hard and persist to reach that point. Therefore, there is a fundamental connection between real freedom and persistence; you can't really be free if you are not persistent.

Persistence is not innate; it is acquired by education. Teaching children to be persistent with whatever goal they may set for themselves while they play and remain at school is the only way in which we may teach them how to use persistence as a mind tool to reach goals as future grown-ups.

The only way to teach our children to be free citizens is to teach them how to persist.

Today's finish line should be your starting point for tomorrow; this is what we have to tell them.

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