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Education for LIFE
By Herbert W. Armstrong
Is there a way you can learn not merely how to earn a living, but how to LIVE?
Is a man truly educated unless he knows WHAT HE IS? And unless he knows WHY he is, whether there is any purpose or meaning to life, and what that is?
And unless he knows where he is going in the end? And unless he knows the true values from the false and THE WAY to such desired conditions as peace, happiness, prosperity and the enjoyable, pleasant and interesting life?
Right now many high school seniors are facing the problem of whether to go on to college - and if so, which college. If I were a young man or young woman facing that question, I'm very sure - knowing what I know now - that I would want to know which college or university teaches these things. I'm sure I'd want to attend the school of higher learning that would teach me not merely how to earn a living - pardon me, I mean an existence - but the one that would teach me HOW TO LIVE!
Did you ever wonder why it is that nearly everybody wants to live a life that is pleasing, enjoyable, interesting - without boredom, aches, pains, suffering or unpleasant environments or circumstances?
And yet, nearly everyone experiences a HUNGER for something that will really SATISFY; and yet, somehow, he never finds it except at brief intervals that never seem to last.
When this work of God was only about two years under way - or three - in Eugene, Oregon, and I was, most of the time, preaching in evangelistic campaigns about six nights a week, broadcasting every Sunday, editing and mimeographing The Plain Truth, and counseling with scores of people, I found the need of something relaxing - something to get my mind for a little while off these serious problems and this driving activity. My wife Loma D. Armstrong and I found a total change, mentally, in attending occasional basketball games at the University of Oregon basketball pavilion, MacArthur Court. At that time the University of Oregon had a team of sophomores and one senior that looked like a "comer."
And sure enough, in their senior year these boys went on to win the first national championship - late winter of 1939. That was the first year the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had a national play-off leading to a national championship.At such games one will see thousands being thrilled by scintillating play. Are these basketball fans enjoying life? If you ask them, at the moment, the answer might be, "You bet!" Are they bored? Not during the excitement of the game! Do they feel a sort of mental, emotional or spiritual hunger? Not during the thrill of the game.
But after the game - then what? Why, after the game is over and the fans have gone home, do they experience a letdown - until the next game, or the next experience of some pleasure?
I got to wondering. After the game, I don't experience any letdown. I don't have to suffer the experience of EMPTINESS, boredom or this sort of soul hunger - whatever it is - until the next exciting entertainment. As a matter of fact, I find my life interesting, invigorating, stimulating, satisfying and abundant at all times! It is tremendously exciting at times. But it is never boring, never dull, never discontented!
WHY? What's the difference? I know what's the difference. I want to tell you what it is.
The answer is bound up in the questions I asked at the beginning of this article.
I have learned WHAT man IS! I have learned that man was put on this earth for a PURPOSE, and I have learned what that purpose IS!
I have learned HOW to fulfill it. I have learned WHAT the true values are, and what are the false. And I have learned the secret of a full, abundant, interesting, enjoyable life! Not merely during a basketball game or some occasional entertainment! ALL THE TIME!
I have learned THE WAY to peace of mind, to invigorating, satisfying, always interesting living. I have learned WHY I am here, WHERE I am going and THE WAY to get there. I'm on my way there now, and the journey is more interesting than I can tell you! There's never a letdown.
There used to be - years ago, before I learned these answers. But not anymore!
Yes, if I were a young man graduating from high school, I'd look for the college or university that would teach me WHAT I am, WHY and what are the TRUE VALUES. I'd want to learn something more than merely a profession for earning an income. Money can't buy happiness or contentment, or the things that really satisfy - CONTINUALLY, without ever a letdown.
And I not only know these answers, but I know also that there is only ONE PLACE ON EARTH where a student may learn these answers that are worth more than all the money in the world.
But, for that matter, when you learn these answers and apply them, you don't have to worry about money - for the very application of these principles brings economic security.
The only academic institutions on earth that teach these MOST IMPORTANT areas of knowledge are the two Ambassador College campuses of Pasadena, California, and Big Sandy, Texas.
People remark that they never have seen such a happy atmosphere as the Ambassador College campuses.
"Why, all your students seem to really enjoy life," they say. "They seem alive, alert, full of spark and interest - and HAPPY!" "You're right," I reply. "They DO - and they ARE!"
But don't think you already know the full reason why. You don't!
I thought I did; yet I did not know the full answer until recently. When we STOP GROWING in knowledge, we're through. I don't propose to be through yet - if keeping my mind open to new truth, when it is PROVED to be truth, will keep me going. I think I can guarantee the answer will surprise you.