In Malcolm X’s autobiographical essay How I Discovered Words: A Homemade Education, Malcolm X emphasizes the meaning of how education is more than just a college degree or job skill. Education granted Malcolm X the feeling of freedom. Without being restricted, he finally had the power to express himself. He has the potential to strongly communicate with others through conversation and writing. With adequate knowledge, any individual will have a new vista on life, similar to how Malcolm X was able to awaken his passion and find a stronger purpose in the life that he did not realize before. In some way, Malcolm X wanted to help the black people community, so he hoped to utilize his education in teaching and help the black community learn more about their society and their human needs. I agree with Malcolm X’s understanding of why it is important to get an education.
Education is not only about a degree or job training, rather it is much greater than that; education gives individuals the knowledge to develop new vistas. Although Malcolm X wasn’t given the opportunity to attend a proper school, he started his education by getting ahold of a dictionary and eventually he was able to read many books. Simply being able to read books and to understand words has changed his view of the world. He was able to find a more meaningful purpose in life. This reminded me of the time when I first moved to the United States. Because I knew nothing about English, I was a quiet student at school and a nobody in the community. The feeling of disappointment arose in me.
All I wanted to do was give up. Luckily, I had the support of my parents who continued to push me to work hard for a better future. As time passed, my English improved and I began to understand more about school work. Continuing to learn, I eventually found a purpose to work hard and began to see my passion for the future. Using my knowledge I was able to accomplish many things. As a result, I began to see the many different aspects of life. Knowledge awoke the many passions in me that I was unable to discover before.
Having an adequate education will grant any individual the ability to freely speak and communicate his or her thoughts and ideas. Before being able to recognize words, Malcolm X was unable to write simple English nor could he express himself. Because of his lack of knowledge, Malcolm X felt powerless. Not only was he not articulate, but he also felt powerless when he wanted to express or communicate his thoughts and ideas. Then, Malcolm X managed to self-study, and after days of ruffling through the dictionary and learning, he was able to pick up many words. Eventually, he felt proud because he realized how much he had learned, and was able to proudly present himself and strongly communicate without being restricted.
Similarly, my parents migrated from Vietnam to the United States. I’ve watched them struggle with their communication in public. My parents were always scared to even open their mouths because they feared that others will not understand what they say. For instance, just because of a simple “Hi. How are you?” they couldn’t respond to what others said to them. They seemed to be terrified of everything and everyone that approached them. Even though my parents weren’t given the opportunity of learning, my siblings and I had that opportunity. We then spent our time teaching them basic English so that they can easily communicate at their workplace.
Months after, my parents were able to communicate with basic English. Having the ability to communicate with just simple English, my parents were able to express themselves more. Over time, I’ve watched them gain more courage to speak in public. The knowledge gained from education about English has boosted my parents’ speaking power and confidence. Education grants any individual the power to feel his or her Education has the power for any individual to feel his or her freedom within his or her own words.
Education is one of the most crucial aspects of a person’s life. As stated by John Dewey, “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” Education gives the individual the free will to do nearly anything they wish to do in life, similar to how it allowed Malcolm X to finally feel proud and satisfied with his communication. It gave him the strength to develop new vistas and to seek a deeper purpose for life. By using his knowledge, Malcolm X had the chance to help the black community learn about human necessities. During the time when I first moved to the United States, I saw nothing but darkness in my life. Because of my lack of knowledge in English, being able to do school work and communicate with others was the furthest thing from my mind. I had lost hope that I would ever be a good student or be successful in life.
As time passed, my English improved. I was able to comprehend famous literary works, like those of Shakespeare, as well as proudly communicate with others in public. As a result, I realized the power of education, as it lightened up my world by allowing me to see the many aspects in life. So, shouldn’t we all take education into our own hands and utilize it to the fullest extent?