If You Want to be Rich and
Happy: Don’t Go to School
In his book,
Robert T. Kiyosaki (1993)
has woven together compelling arguments and inspiring personal anecdotes
about the destructive quality of the education system.
The education system’s inherent promise of helping young
people grow up to become adults who can realize the American Dream
turns out to be an illusion.
In a world that is characterized by rapid
technological and global changes, the education system has become an
archaic institution that continues to cling to obsolete practices.
Concomitantly, students are compelled to perform rote tasks of
memorization and conform to classroom
routines. Regardless of their academic performance, most of these
students emerge as dependent adults who are incapable of thinking for
themselves and adapting to our changing times.
According to Kiyosaki (1993), the current
education system is fraught with
many problems. First, educators undermine the development of
creative and independent thinking in students with their emphasis on the
right answer. Essentially, students are discouraged from exploring
complex issues when their journey for knowledge is abruptly terminated
with their discovery of the one right answer. Consequently, the
students who thrive in the school system are typically skilled in rote
memorization. However, they are ill-equipped to deal with the
dynamic and complex realities of our society. Instead of preparing
our young people to apply their thinking to changing situations, the
education system has essentially produced graduates who are dependent on
their superiors and limited by their lack of creativity.
Second, the education system is a competitive
institution that punishes
students for their failure to excel in their academic subjects.
The comparison between students and the categorization of students into
average and above average groups create a negative psychosocial
environment. Students who are weak in particular subjects are
identified and mocked by their peers, thus undermining their
self-esteem. At the same time, the other students lose their
sense of compassion and ethics as they are rewarded and celebrated for
“winning” at all costs (Kiyosaki, 1993).
Third, schools do not teach students about
money and business. Instead, educators project the
prevailing perception that money is an inherently evil thing, even
though the promise of education is to provide one with a good job and
financial security. However, Kiyosaki (1993) contends that money
in itself is not evil. Rather, it is the people’s lack of
knowledge about money that has contributed to their use or pursuit of
money in self-destructive ways.
People do not
need a complex education in order to become rich. Rich
people have acquired habits and followed principles, which have enabled
them to succeed in life. In Kiyosaki’s (1993) opinion, even a
seven-year-old can be taught these habits and principles. Herein
lies the fallacy of the education system: Although highly specialized
subjects such as medicine and astronomy require tremendous education,
getting rich requires little education.
In this day and
age, people need to
realize that financial security is not equivalent to possessing college
degrees and well-paid jobs with solid benefits. Individuals who
have thrived in the school system by complying with its rules are
hampered by their dependence on external direction and fear in
because they undermine the process of thinking and learning. Its
rules and principles can only function in a static world. In
reality, true security can only be realized when people possess the
courage, independence and desire to explore new things and acquire
knowledge on a daily basis (Kiyosaki, 1993).
on the above arguments, Kiyosaki
|(1993) presents an alternative education system
that will increase its relevance to the needs of our society today:
Generalized principles: Students
should acquire a set of generalized
principles that will allow them to apply them to
Principles of money, business and finance:
Students should learn
about these principles so that they can be
prepared for the
realities of adult life.
of choice: Students should be allowed to pursue their
interests in their work. The freedom of choice
taps into the intrinsic passion
of learning within students.
Life-long learning: Learning is a perpetual
process that does not end
when people leave school. Instead of focusing on
getting increased pay,
people should be concentrating on acquiring knowledge.
With this book,
Kiyosaki has highlighted the key issues that affect
every aspect of life - education, work and financial
security. Instead of preparing students for the realities of life,
the education system has essentially sabotaged their natural ability to
function in a world of change. Teaching students to conform and to
search for the one right answer ultimately destroys their independence
and their passion for learning and living. True learning does not
end with graduation and a diploma. Only through the endless
pursuit of knowledge in life will one achieve the promise of financial
Kiyosaki, R.T. (1993). If you want to
be rich and happy, don’t go to school: Ensuring lifetime security
for yourself and your children. Santa Rosa: Aslan Publishing Co.
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