It’s that time of year when many of us are thinking about “the perfect gift”—one to either give to someone we love, or one which we hope to receive. But what is the perfect gift? Is it something expensive, and showy? Or is it something simple, and heartfelt? One thing’s for sure—where gifts such as fancy chocolates disappear almost immediately, and even today’s coveted technology gadgets quickly become outdated—gifts that have an educational value last forever.
Think about the message you discovered in a book that someone gave to you. Or, an important lesson you learned from a favorite teacher. Or, even a particularly informative seminar that you didn’t think you could afford, but you signed up, anyway. Unlike material gifts, which can be nice but are often transient, educational gifts will always be a part of you. As American Blues signer and songwriter B.B. King once said, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
Now is also the perfect time to think about your goals for the New Year. What “gifts” might be in store for you? Have you decided that 2017 will finally be the year that you’ll make changes to you ho-hum job? Or, maybe you’ve been dreaming of a vacation get-away to a place where you can learn about another culture? Are you thinking of going back to school? What steps will you take to accomplish your goals? The best place to get started is by simply educating yourself. What information is available to you online? What friends or other connections could you reach out to for additional help or information? Could you pick up the phone and call a recruiter, or a travel agent, or a school admissions department for free guidance? Any and all of these steps would be an important part of reaching your ultimate goal, helping to ensure that your decisions are based on facts, rather than emotion.
If you know someone who wants to enrich their lives through education, consider a monetary gift to be put toward that goal. It doesn’t have to be a large sum, but every little bit helps. There really is no greater gift than one with educational value. And as they say—Help teach a person to fish, and they’ll have food forever.
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