“Estudia y no seras cuando crecido, el juguete vulgar de las pasiones, ni el esclavo servil de los tiranos”
-Benito Pablo Juarez Garcia
The quote translates as “Study and while growing up you will not be, the vulgar toy of passions, nor the servile slave to the tyrants.” I was very young when I first heard this quote. Come to think of it, I think my love for quotes and proverbs came from my Grandfather.
“Mi Abuelito” (My Grandpa) is in the hospital in critical condition. I got the call last night that I have been dreading for quite some time. It makes me mad that I am so far away and I cannot be by his side right now. It frustrates me that I might never get to see him alive again. It saddens me that I did not get to spend more time with him as an adult and learn more life lessons from him.
Growing up I was always spending time with my Grandfather. I loved listening to him, to his stories, to what he believed. A lot of my values and respect driven life come from him. While my father always led by example and reinforced the values, my Grandfather was the one that educated me in a lot of life lessons through his words. He is a very generous person, and even though he never had real monetary wealth, what he gave me in knowledge is worth more than all the gold he could have ever given me. Compassionate, accepting and always in the search for justice.
My Grandfather led one of the first unions in Colombia at one of the big chemical companies. He accomplished everything he could not just at work but bringing up his family. He is the first one to admit that he is not perfect, that he made a lot of mistakes while growing up, but he tried to always be true to what he believed. I hope he gets better and I have the opportunity to hug him at least once more. I have told him how much I love him over the phone but I just don’t feel like he can truly know until I wrap my arms around him. I miss him so much.
The quote is a beautiful one that I will always remember and keep close to my heart. It really encompasses what education should be about. Sometimes we think of education as the means to money, but in reality education gives us so much more. My Grandfather always advocated education as one of the most important things you can obtain. If you think about it, everything in life can be taken away from you, money, family, dignity, even your freedom… but knowledge is something no one can steal from you.