A short half hour drive south of Roanoke and we found the birth place of Booker T. Washington.  The farm where he was born still exists and has been recreated to look like it did when he was born a slave in 1856.  It is beautiful country, but sobering to think of what life must have been like for a small slave boy.

Booker’s greatest desire was to learn to read and to get an education.  Once the Emancipation Proclamation was read, Booker at the age of 16, walked 500 miles to attend a school for Black students.  His desire and his hard work earned him an education that he then went on to apply as he helped others to gain an education as well.  He was the founder and guiding force behind Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

With education such an expected quality in our day it gives me pause to think of the difficulties and hardships that Booker encountered in his desire to be educated.

How much of our education have we taken for granted?  Just thinking about that made me want to thank the teachers and mentors who have given me their time, their expertise, and encouragement in my quest for education.  And then I thought about what I am giving back to others because I have had the privilege to be educated.

What are we giving back?  Does our education have worth if we simply keep it to ourselves?  Passing some of it on to others so they can also benefit from the grace that is education might be the cost of our enlightenment.

Booker T. Washington thought that it was.

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