I am an autodidact. A few of you may find yourselves wondering what exactly an autodidact might be. It may even sound as though I have some dread disease I struggle with, in need of a cure.
An autodidact is simply someone who is self-educated. From Ben Franklin, to Nikola Tesla, to Steven Speilberg, there are many famous autodidacts. Many of these have contributed greatly to history, science, technology, and society as a whole.
Lack of a college degree does not mean lack of intelligence, or lack of education, for that matter. There is much power in the reading of books, and much to be learned right here on the computer screen in front of you. Still, we are often challenged in our wisdom for lack of a simple piece of paper that proclaims that we might know a thing or two.
When one looks around at “life after college”, it isn’t always as rosy as it seems anyway. Our society is filled to the brim with highly educated people, some with several degrees, who are forced to work menial jobs for which they are highly over-qualified.
Many work jobs that require little or no education at all, making the paper their degrees are written on seem worthless to them. Many of these are frustrated further by the fact that they can’t get the jobs they desire, or follow the course that so passionately drove them through college in the first place.
Perhaps if our society were to take a step backward, out of the consumerist mentality it has entrenched itself in, we might see a better way. We might hearken back to a bygone era when things were made of quality work and skill, and knowledge was worth more than the paper upon which it was deemed to exist.
We need to once again be allowed to follow our passions, make our own way, find our own knowledge. If people where allowed to shine forth with their own light, we may once again see the true value of skill, and of knowledge. We might then be a society, not of “dog eat dog”, but of a truer, more ennobling”survival of the fittest”.