Education is something that is often thought of something that is thought of as something purely of the mind and not of physical effort. However, there is more to a great education then just knowledge and information and there should be a balanced effort between both mind and physical efforts. Manual labor is an important aspect of an education that shapes the minds and skill sets of people greatly. These efforts are especially important in areas of motivation, social skills, and to a greater extent, it makes people more well-rounded individuals.
Booker T. Washington proves in his book Up From Slavery that manual labor and education go hand in hand through the positive qualities of a person. Booker demonstrates that the idea of manual labor and education can build up a person’s determination and this is especially evident when Booker earns his way to Hampton. In Up From Slavery, Booker showed the reader that earning something could make a person’s efforts feel more satisfactory.
Booker stated that “The sweeping of room was my college examination, and never did any youth pass an examination for entrance into Harvard or Yale that gave him more genuine satisfaction. (Washington 29)” Booker shows the reader that manual labor was one that made his education a most satisfactory one that can greatly strengthen determination. He strived to make the most out of his education and to make sure that those around him had an education that they could appreciate. Education may be able to get a person far, but manual labor and education together could cause a person to go the extra mile and really get the purpose of it. While labor may be difficult, it gives us opportunities to understand the world around us better.
Manual labor can establish social skills and help a person learn more about those around them. When Booker T. goes door to door, he himself felt more connected with those he was collecting the money from. In Up From Slavery Booker tells the reader “While the work of going door to door and from office to office is hard, disagreeable, and costly to bodily strength, yet it has some compensation. Such work gives an opportunity to study human nature.(Washington 770)” This tells the reader that if their education is put along side manual labor, the reader will benefit from the social side of the job greatly. They will have more opportunities to learn about different people, develop their social skills, and just make their understanding of the world much better.
Though school does teach a person knowledge, there are things that only these types of social situations in manual labor can teach a person. It can over all set a person up for social success in the future. Lastly, education with manual labor can make a person become a well-rounded and overall make them more willing towards hearing what others think. Booker T Washington may have taught the manual labor style of education style to his students when he started his school, Tuskagee.
In his book, he speaks highly of his students. He says “I have never seen more earnest and willing company of young men and women than these students. They were all willing to do the right thing as soon a it was shown to them what was right. (Washington 55)” This shows that the style of education Booker was using was helping his students to become better people. They were becoming students who wanted to know how to think rightly about things. This form of education shaped them into individuals with honest and genuine qualities that everyone should strive to have. The style of education Booker promoted was one that truly shaped a person positively.
Booker T. Washington proves in his book Up From Slavery that a person’s positive qualities and self-improvement can come from the education style of labor and education going together. Together these two can make an education more satisfactory and make them want to become more motivated in the classroom. Manual labor can establish great social skills and make a person better understand how the world around them works by studying human nature.
The ideas together can turn someone into a better individual who is very honest and hardworking. This is all significant information because this form of education is often criticized for not being needed, however, Booker has made it evident that it is a needed form through his book Up From Slavery.
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