Advice to our Younger Generation
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by Frank Shortt
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2017 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I am honored greatly to have been chosen to speak to you today.
I was born in a poor, but hard-working
family in the hills of Virginia. Our family consisted of a mother and father, who sired ten very active children. My early education
consisted of attending elementary school, and graduating High School. My only distinguishing feature was that I was a champion speller.
After high school, I served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force. After my discharge, I worked my way up to become Chief of Operations
at a school district on the east side of San Jose, Ca. I had a large body of men to supervise. Since retirement from the School Department,
I am a writer for the Evergreen Times newspaper in San Jose. I am mostly self-educated, not having a great amount of formal education.
I sometimes wonder what life would have been like had I taken advantage of all the educational opportunities afforded to me. Raising
a family, as well as making a living for them, prevented me from seeking greater opportunities. I have had one great asset: I have
always been a voracious reader. I even read the cereal boxes as a child, and as an adult. I attended Evergreen College at 70 years
of age, taking a course in creative writing.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a humble log cabin in Kentucky. He eventually became
the 16th president of the United States. He did not have the opportunities that young men and ladies have today. He was taught to
read as he attended intermittent school at a young age. His stepmother, Sarah, made sure that young Abe had as much reading material
as the family could afford. His favorite books became the King James Bible, Pilgrimís Progress, and Robinson Crusoe, a story of survival
under adverse circumstances. In fact, Abe, as he was to become known would rather read than to do the labor on the farm. Lincoln became
a self-educated lawyer and eventually went into politics as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He later became a leader
in the newly formed Republican Party, eventually becoming President of the United States. He did not know that the Civil War within
our Country would happen during his administration, nor did he have a clue that he would give his life for the cause he had placed
Young people today have every educational opportunity. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you will find that
success in life is almost impossible without higher education. Our technology demands that we learn all that we can while afforded
the opportunity for education. You will also find that in each challenge you face you will have little manuals that give you the tools
you will need to do the job right. In order to succeed, you will need to do three things: read the manual, believe that what you read
will do what it says, and then the material must be applied. No application, no growth! Without the education necessary to succeed,
you will be lost in what will become a confusing mess of bad decisions.
When your mother attempts to cook a new dish for the family,
she must first read the recipe, then, she must believe that it will produce the results she seeks, and lastly, she must apply what
she reads in order to accomplish the results. You will find that life is like following a recipe. Each profession will have a manual
for you to follow. Each company has tried these methods for success and found them to work to the benefit of the company. So, as you
go forward into the next phase of life, try to apply the tried and true methods of learning your chosen profession. I am sure that
you will find that all things will work out, with some effort from yourself.