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Published on November 18th, 2015 | by San Dee Doxtdator

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“I Have No Degree. How Do I Get Others to Value Me?” – Ask John #11

by John Taylor Gatto

Dear Mr. Gatto,

I am an auto-didactic learner. How do I get others to value me and to value what I know without the degree?

I run into this all the time even from people who profess to be promoting self directed education and selling this idea to families. I come to the table with my knowledge in a given area and am dismissed or treated as less than because I do not have the degree with letters after my name. The guy with the PhD still trumps 30,000 hours of self directed learning.   It’s soul crushing.

Thanks,

Lisa M.

JOHN’S RESPONSE:

Dear Lisa,

You know the answer to the question you asked, but apparently, like most of us, would rather not face it squarely in all of its implications. Are you an outstanding human being who gives more value to the community than an ordinary citizen?

As cruel as it sounds, others value those whose value is apparent to them and disvalue those who appear to be ordinary. Kurt Vonnegut, the writer, put it this way: “Find a way to be useful; if you aren’t useful you are useless.”

kurt-writing-quote

Think of Lula da Silva, longtime president of Brazil, a dirt poor ghetto kid from the deepest slums in Rio, who observed the society around him closely enough to crack its class-obsessed social code enough to gradually step-by-step climb from the sewers to the highest rank in the nation (by what exact means I do not know), and led his country into prosperity and freedom from fossil fuels––without any degrees or diplomas or social graces except those SELF-taught; and even more striking, think of another poor kid from the country village of Linz, in Austria, WHO ROSE WITHOUT DEGREES, MONEY, OR FRIENDS to dominate the most intensely educated nation on earth.

 

Germany, after WWI, in another miracle of self-teaching which nobody could have predicted except Adolf himself, subsequently led the conquest of major nations like France and Russia without any academic military training.

One thing that might help you, Lisa, is to INVENTORY YOUR STRONG POINTS and try to develop them to a pinnacle that you could put at the service of your community; also I recommend to you (and everyone for that matter) that you read as many biographies and autobiographies as you can of people who distinguished themselves without college degrees––hundreds, even thousands, of those are readily available.

Partridge-India-Autobiography-pic-Ben-Franklin

Millions of people grow pumpkins, but a tiny percentage of the total know, from self-teaching and experiment, how to grow thousand pound pumpkins. You needn’t go to college, neither did Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, nor Ted Turner, but you must have accomplishments other than a good heart to win attention and respect, although Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus, seem to have done OK with that credential alone.

tumblr_kyp936kvII1qzqvm2o1_500

In real communities, among decent God-fearing people, just BEING is enough to win respect, but in our over-commercialized corporate culture, a star system has taken hold where notoriety from accomplishments acknowledged by journalists (and on occasion by word-of-mouth) dominates. I can’t change those rules; you must comply or remain anonymous.

Degrees are a way to beat that system, requiring no intelligence to secure, or talent, but only patience and money; yet have you noticed that over time they lose all power to impress anyone?

Accomplishment, adding value to others, somehow is the only lasting currency that works, and it always works better than college degrees. Good luck, Lisa, start today, inventory yourself and your community needs––find a match between the two and you will be on the way.

Your well-wisher,

John (Gatto)

State Teacher of the Year, New York, 1990*, 1991**

City Teacher of the Year, New York City, 1989-91

“The World’s Most Courageous Teacher”

* – from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., in addition to being nominated for National Teacher of the Year.

** – from The University of the State of New York, Education Department. Also, he was the 1st Runner-Up for State Teacher of the Year in 1990, and a finalist in 1989.

Get his free newsletter: https://www.JohnTaylorGatto.com

Like John at: https://www.Facebook.com/UndergroundHistoryBook

Follow John at: https://www.Twitter.com/RealJohnGatto

Watch his videos at: https://www.YouTube.com/JohnTaylorGatto

 

 

Has John made a difference in your life?

The “Thank You John Taylor Gatto” Video SNOWBALL Project consists of video recording yourself talking about how John impacted your life, then uploading it on YouTube.

INVITATION Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtL5xzWQVho

The purpose of the “Thank You John Taylor Gatto” Video SNOWBALL Project is to share your gratitude directly with John for his unprecedented Work by speaking about how his books or lectures have assisted you in your own, personal educational journey. Would you like to be a part of the educational avalanche that impacts thousands, perhaps millions?

LIKE it on FB: https://www.facebook.com/ThankYouJohnTaylorGattoSnowball

The vision of “Thank You John Taylor Gatto” Video SNOWBALL Project is to have dozens, hundreds, and thousands, perhaps millions, of people who share their realizations, gratitude, and emotions which can be attributed to John’s courageous writings, speeches, and interviews.

This will allow us to recognize John for his great contribution to humanity AND to inspire one another as we unite our minds and intentions to set the youth free from the prison of forced schooling. Haven’t we all had enough of this nonsense?

INVITATION Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtL5xzWQVho

My Video SNOWBALL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftN8S5ZV6aU

If, and when, you make a video, please email to: ThankYou@JohnTaylorGatto.com so we can add it to the master playlist.

NEXT STEP
1) Record and upload a video
2) Email the YouTube URL link to:
ThankYou@JohnTaylorGatto.com
3) Enjoy watching the snowball you helped create
Have you ever uploaded a YouTube video before? If no, are you willing to give it a try to help John?

Ideally, the video will be no longer than 20 minutes of you talking to the camera and speaking about:

-what you realized from John’s books and lectures
-why/how it has affected you
-how you will use it in life now and in the future.

Let’s help start a movement where people, including us, are empowered to share the problems of forced schooling which have harmed us and millions others, and how we are self-healing and self-directing our way out of it and into our greatest potential.

Once completed, please upload the video to your YouTube channel and name it:

“(Your First Name) from (Your state or country)- “Thank You John Taylor Gatto”,

Then email me the URL at ThankYou@JohnTaylorGatto.com , which I will add to the master playlist.

INVITATION Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtL5xzWQVho

My Video SNOWBALL IS HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftN8S5ZV6aU&feature=youtu.be

LIKE it on FB: https://www.facebook.com/ThankYouJohnTaylorGattoSnowball

David J. Rodriguez

Editor

 


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