The Greatest Inheritance a Youth Can Have?

Submitted by:

Jay Brewer, Superintendent of Dayton Independent Schools

The late famous Kentucky author and poet, Jesse Stuart, wrote in To Teach, To Love the following: “This new way of life is tearing the very guts and hearts out of our youth, deadening their brains, killing the greatest inheritance a youth can have, incentive to do, incentive to have, incentive to compete.” This was written in 1970 and still stands true today.

In To Teach, To Love Jesse Stuart goes on to say, “It cannot be denied in America that our main motive in education is to ‘make life easier.’ We have tried to replace all labor with machines, even machines to think for us. We have even tried to invent a teaching machine to replace the teacher. We have mechanical slaves to do ninety percent of our work. Each day we read in the newspapers, or hear over the radio, or see on TV that some person has devised a way by which one man can do the job of twenty.” Again, this was written over 35 years ago. What would Jesse Stuart think if he could see our IPhones with Siri, the internet, our navigation systems, and our household appliances?

Creating the drive within our students to do, to have, and to compete is mission critical. I am deeply concerned that our students today, not just in Dayton, KY, but everywhere, are missing that internal “hunger” to do the work to become better. Life can be pretty easy and we can easily get lost in our 300 plus TV stations, our IPods, Netflix, and PS4 gaming systems. Life is meant to be lived, not watched. We need to make sure that our Dayton students do not have a deficit of will to succeed. The next few months we must remain focused on Inspiring, Engaging, and Growing each of our Students. Doing this each and every day will go a long way in creating that drive to do, to have, and to compete!




1 reply »

  1. I was speaking with a director at Boy Scouts of America the other day and asked them what effect the Xbox of America has had on enrollment to their org. They believe 15%. I’m extremely grateful my father and mother didn’t spend much emphasis on video games and put more on education and work.


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