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The Obstacles To Getting A Good Education (Letter 10)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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Dear Y.B.M.:

At this writing, I am on the steps of the Coleman Library on the campus of Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Florida. I will be speaking in a couple of churches in the area on Sunday.

Frankly, I wish I had someone to write me like this when I was your age.

Now, on this important matter of getting a good college education: you will have some obstacles, to say the least.

The first obstacle that you will face is yourself. Why? Because the process of truly learning is laborious, monotonous, and at times downright bitter and boring. Therefore, obtaining a truly higher education will require of you a determined mind and a will to stick and stay. In short, it will take discipline. But in the end, it will be worth it all.

Your second obstacle to obtaining a higher education is the ever present lure of immediate money and gratification. This is a temptation. For example, you may have a good paying job right now and you don't want to leave it to go to college or you don't want to cut back on your hours so that you can go, at least, part-time. I recall, upon my graduation from high school, my parents wanted me to go on to college at Gardner-Webb College in North Carolina. However, I was too short-sighted, and, frankly, too foolish to take their advice because I had this restaurant job in high school that offered me a new job as trainer and assistant manager for new restaurants that were opening up. In my view, the money was good, so I opted for the fast money and the fast lifestyle of partying, women and drinking — immediate gratification. However, thankfully, by the grace of God, I came to my senses and began the higher learning process, and became a college graduate later.

My friend, you will learn in life that you must postpone gratification to reach for something far more important and valuable. One great preacher of the past put it this way:

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