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Four One One

Do not chase grades, chase a good education

Dear my subjects,

If you can do one thing for me this year, give yourself a good education. If an opportunity arises to upgrade in some way, to become better in some fields, take that opportunity.  Forget that nonsense of the drop-outs. Truth is, very few dropouts make it. Extremely few. We use our survivorship bias to forget the many that do not make it. For every one drop-out that makes it, millions did not. Good education will always propel you.

I say good education because many people are obsessed with a paper, with a certificate. Forget about the paper, always treat it as a bonus. Your goal should be the ability to do something with your head and your hands. That is an education.

We go to school so that we do not have to go through the trouble of figuring it all out by ourselves. Education is a collection of thousands of years, of what other people figured out. You do not have such a long life to figure it all out by yourself. How long would it take you to figure out your own engine? Or let’s suppose your own camshaft?

What if today someone told you to find a way to make a story of your own business? Something different from the accounting equation. How long will it take you to arrive somewhere?

Yes, they will tell you drop-outs made it. But let us take an example of Uganda. Where are most of the drop-outs now? The moment the business grew and became complex, they started to suffer. Because then, who will be running that complex business? It is the experts. Do you know what it means to make a simple reconciliation in a complex business? People, I repeat, get grounded in your education.

Can you imagine most of us here have never listened to proper live music? We think sound engineering is for granted. But imagine someone went and studied that and learnt how to do it well. Some of you will cry the day you ever listen to good sound. You will be speechless.

Or think of proper lighting at a concert. There is so much you have not experienced because ignorance has denied you that opportunity. Most of your problems are because you do not have the right talent in this environment to solve them.

Look around you, see everything in your room, it is education that has propelled it. Somebody thought out the machine that could mass produce your toothbrush. That toothbrush was a reserve for a few. Education has fast-tracked it.

Learn some things in this world and learn them deeply. I repeat my subjects, stop chasing papers. Chase the ability to do things well. Imagine the paper did not exist, would you still want to learn that thing?

We suffer because we think we can always gamble at everything. My mechanic was in my university cohort. It makes all the difference. Because with him, we are not gambling. We can reason together. And he can price well. He can understand things to do with working capital. What will happen with your other mechanics? Sometimes they will quote the job before they even know the problem.

Yes there is common sense, there is learning everything by trial and error. But I say, that is a very expensive process. If we can each achieve deep expertise in something, that’s how we get to build this country. Let us not be obsessed about our titles but about the output of our titles.

In our emerging economy, education is still the thing that makes a difference. But I repeat, it must be good. Fight as much as possible to find it. Do not chase grades parents. Chase a good education. If your child cannot look you in the eye and express themselves, that already is a sign of a bad education. If your child cannot give a proper speech on anything, that is a warning. If they cannot plan their day, you can do better.

I want to have the most educated kingdom in the world. I want a kingdom with Valuation experts, Nuclear Physicists, Lighting engineers, Oncologists, Mosaic artists, and professional choreographers. I want nothing but the best for this kingdom.

And yes, if you say Bill Gates dropped out, it was from Harvard. And do you know how many books he reads a week? Do you know the people he meets? Think of education as a means for you to make a dent in the universe. Think of it as a weapon. And find a way to get the best weapon.

I remain your loving and handsome King.

Ortega

King of Ortega!

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