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Revised 7 December, 2009

THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION

I was not a naughty child.  Rather, I prefer to consider myself to have been creatively mischievous and bearing an insatiable curiosity for the great “what if’s” of life.   Having clarified this, I shall move on.

My father owned his own business and was greatly loved by his customers and employees.  Each year, they would pool their resources and buy him a gift from the local furniture store/funeral parlor.  This year was no exception.  They gifted him with a wonderful reclining chair, which he appreciated greatly.  Dad would sit down in this chair, the ever-ready toothpick hanging out of his mouth, recline back and be asleep in minutes.

I loved to play at my father’s feet and this day was no exception.  As I sat there playing with my toys and pondering what to do next, I glanced up at my father and there, hanging dangerously near, was a beautifully raised foot, toes pointed gracefully towards the sky and beckoning my curiosity where it should not go.  In the depths of my observation, a curious question arose to my young mind.  What, I wondered, would happen if I bit the big toe waving so dangerously near---and so, I did.

To say that my father was astonished would be an understatement.  To stay he was startled and befuddled by my actions and my childish explanation for my deeds would be to tempt fate and diminish the value of the lesson learned therefrom.

Suffice it to state that I can unequivocally state that the color of the corner of my room, where I was sent to contemplate the error of my investigative methodology was unmistakably pink, possibly equal to the color of my nether cheeks as well. 

The lesson learned from this little episode is that education, while a valuable tool, and curiosity, while to be encouraged in the young, is not without limitations,  We are  reminded that it is equally important to be discriminatory in our search of knowledge for there are some things that it is best to leave alone.