Editor's note: Lee Williams is a marketing copywriter, blogger, activist, and friend of the pod. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, but this post was written from the heart on his personal Facebook page. He has gladly allowed us to publish it.
If I were to explain today’s Senate confirmation of Betsy DeVos to my sixteen-month-old son, I’d tell him, with great emphasis, that nothing is promised in this world. Not even a free education. And any hope we place in the hands of our fellow men and women — even the idyllic hope of doing the right thing — is a hope placed in shifty hands.
We should never look to others as our key to better place in this life. They are as undependable as they are unpredictable. Instead, I’d direct him to look within himself, his faith, interests, hopes, dreams, and goals; to chart life by his own path, pave his own way, and learn to define it by his own means.
That’s truly what education is — it’s an enlightened experience within a body of knowledge. And it’s going to take a lot more than a bunch of bureaucrats to prevent that from happening — no matter how many school vouchers they allow, which schools they give funding, and what class structure they benefit.
But one thing for certain: You cannot expect people to “do the right thing.” That’s an objective phrase. For some, the right thing is a definition that marginalizes others, builds up walls, and keeps the refuse of the world out. The “right thing” may be rooted in fear and profit and upheaval.
He’ll know, after our conversation of conversations, that his education isn't controlled by the hands of a few; it's his and his alone. And it doesn’t begin or end at a brick-and-motar building — it’s just a part of the journey. That journey, like elections, administrations, or appointments, are just flashes in the pan of life. And it is our responsibility as parents, teachers, mentors and friends, to inform that journey with enlightenment.
A bureaucrat can’t do that.
A presidential appointee can’t do that.
A budget decrease can’t do that.
But if each one teaches one, then my friends… that is a true step forward in the life of any child. We can all do that.