Sunday, January 3, 2010

The 3 Most Important Words in Life

The 3 Most Important Words in Life
by Murray Leitner

Photo: Murray Leitner, while stationed in Hawaii (1945)

Just as the three most important words in Real Estate are "location, location, location," the three most important words in "education, education, education." This has been true for me throughout my life, enabling me to enjoy material things as well as non-material things, like enjoying my work or or having a feeling of satisfaction after solving a problem. These could not have been accomplished without that importnant factor called "EDUCATION."

I grew up in the middle of the Great Depression when jobs were scarce. In those days, the government did not send checks or food stamps to people. They had markets made food baskets and deliver them to people in need. My father was a butcher who worked in one of those markets and my job was to come in after scheoll and help prepare and deliver food baskets to the people in need. As you can imagine, money was tight and I had no idea how I was going to be able to go to college. My parents told me to do my best at school and I did. I was elected to the National Honor Society and was able to obtain a scholarship to a small school in New York.

I was in my third year of college when Pearl Harbor was attacked and all 18-year-old males had to register for the draft. I received my notice to appear before the draft board and they allowed me to finish the school year before going into the service. I served for three years and three months and when I was discharged was informed that, under the G.I. Bill, I could continue my education at the school of my choice, getting a month of education for every month I served.

I took full advantage of the G.I. Bill and got Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Mathematics, and a Masters degree in Engineering. I was hired by an aircraft manufacturing company and stayed with tehm for 35 years. I always wanted to teach, so after I retired, I taught at a local community college for 12 more years. The best reward for a teacher is when a student's face lights up and you know they uderstand what you are trying to teach.

So again, I say the three most important words in life are "EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION."
-Murray Leitner (2009)

NOTE: I met Murray a decade ago volunteering for a stay-in-school program. His wit, charm, and intelligence continue to draw in youth and adults alike. In discussing what he would write for the journal, I told him he'd have to live for another 85 years so we could benefit from the enumerable lessons he has to share. He said he would, so I'm holding him to it. -TT

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