Dr. John F. Gilligan says our culture presents few incentives for acquiring knowledge. I agree and disagree. Incentives can always raise an individuals desire to acquire knowledge about things in which an interest desire has been created. People have to be motivated by people who know how to motivate. Sure, you can't put all the blame on the educational system but the system is broken in so many schools, the system is broken in so many homes and broken by politicians careful to be politically correct as they look forward to being re-elected.
Dr. John, who often contributes meaningful articles to the JS reader, says 50% of our high school graduates with massive skill deficits yet few people feel or understand. Why not? We seem to be diligently engaged in learning about drugs, sex, and violence. (He adds music and dancing, although, both practiced with moderation or as a career or avocation, make a better rounded person, I say) Dr. John says we have been too prosperous and oblivious to see how hungry much of the rest of the world is.
Well Dr. John, you are right. Some do see it, but for many it is getting close to being too late. Every day, new poor performing individuals graduate or drop out of school, too many winding up on welfare or in our courts, jails, and prisons. And without being much of a contributor to any community or society.
Developing a passion for learning must start within each individual as desire to have a passion for learning. Desire to learn contributing skills cannot be "force fed". That it takes all, the family, the educational system, the business community, religious institutions, government? or just one good teacher or mentor. Learn the skill of competing and one understands the true meaning of leveling the playing field. That field can not be leveled by bringing everybody down to a lower level. Just the opposite. I'm not sure most in governing do enough to promote the learning of skills to bring the poorly educated up to higher levels.
Unfortunately, too many are doing just that in the name of compassion. Better believe what is commonly quoted; It is better to teach a man how to fish than to feed him the your fish. He may be your "friend" but not after you run out of fish and he has never learned to "fish".
Reflect in your compassion that giving food and shelter is a noble thing to those in dire need. Be careful that compassion is not extended for too long for the able.
It is never too late to point someone the way to learn to develop a skill, Seek it and it shall be found, its said. Unfortunately, not all will seek and not all will find.
The same is true in the third world. The same dangers this creates abroad is far too common here in our own country. We need real leaders to emerge in so many areas from the common to the extraordinary. We all need to keep trying, just a little harder. Building more leisure, pleasure and entertainment is not what those who would destroy our way of life are doing. Those of us who would educate others need to do more to educate ourselves as what is going on in our community, state, country and world.