Both of my children benefited from Catholic education through the 8th grade before moving on to the public school system in our community. Neither of them liked nor enjoyed their high school experience, and both of them graduated as very average students.
Neither of them earned a college degree. My daughter earned some community college credits and received very good grades. My son took a 2-year technical curriculum and graduated with a diploma in automotive maintenance, but would not take the few academic courses to earn an associate degree.
I never really fussed with them about getting a college degree or getting good grades during their formal education, even though their aunts and uncles included 2 college professors, 1 nationally-known physician, a computer programming expert, and a national marketing manager for a major corporation.
I myself am a former newspaper editor, publisher and media property owner, and my wife is a schoolteacher. It was never in my heart to ride my children like Seabiscuit for better grades and college degrees. As it has turned out, it apparently did not matter in the greater scheme of things.
My son just turned 30 and is a very successful businessman making a ton of money. My daughter is 32 and a banker (loan sales rep) with a major bank. The fact that both of them have become successful, well-adjusted adults and parents without having a college degree or getting good grades going through school may come as a surprise to some people.
While it does not hurt to come from a good gene pool, I attribute their success so far in life to their first 9 years (K-8) of Catholic education at Holy Family School in Lacey, WA. My wife taught at Holy Family when our children were there, and I was a member of its Board of Directors and chairperson of its Board for 9 years.
What my children received from their public school education was an academic education. What they received from their Catholic school education was an academic education, a religious education and a moral education.
They do not depend upon our government at any level to support them or make them successful. They understand and appreciate the fact that any success they may have in life will be because they take personal responsibility for their thinking, their attitude, their effort and their actions and are so accountable for any success they enjoy.
In our family we may favor one candidate over another to be our next president of the United States, but we know that whoever becomes president has absolutely no effect on our becoming and remaining successful in life.
We categorically refuse to be dependent upon our government, politicians or bureaucrats for our success; This could well explain why we are successful.
(Editor's Note: This is Part 1 of a 4-Part Article.)
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley