Whereas in America, an illiterate person would have trouble functioning at all in society. Education is a tool that is to be developed by a combination of motivation, preparation, support, and society. An education can be offered to someone, but the pupil can only take from it what is put in. A gift is something that can be given to someone regardless of the effort put forth by the individual, therefore an education is not a gift. Although an education cannot be given to someone, and it is not a gift, there are things that can be given to you that contribute to your education.
Perhaps the greatest thing that can be provided is support. When a parent or teacher rewards a child for learning, it makes a connection in the child's mind that an education will pay off. When an educated and successful family strongly support a child's education, that child will have a better chance to obtain an education. The child will see that education and success coincide. A person that is to be educated has to be given many opportunities to learn new things. Some of these opportunities are as simple as letting your four-year-old watch "Sesame Street" or letting your six-year-old make a sandwich.
There are cases, however, when parents are not able to promote their children's education. If the parents are poor and uneducated, then a child will most likely be unmotivated towards school. The child might realize that his parents are managing to pull through, and think that he will be able to survive without an education as well. This will withhold the child from opportunities that an education would provide. Allowing that certain educational gifts are given to a person, they can acquire the motivation it takes to receive an education.
Once you have made the decision to attain an education, certain virtues must be possessed. You must be motivated by something, weather it be money, power, or just the desire to learn. It is motivation that drives you to learn new things and to expand your horizons. You must prepare for an education. For everything that you want to know, there is something else you need to know first. Before you can be proficient on a piano you must know music, and before you can be proficient on a computer you must learn to use a keyboard and a mouse.
Even though these skills may seem intuitive to some, someone from a different social culture may not have been introduced to these ideas at all. You must also have certain resources provided. To learn in an institution, often times you need money, books, and other materials that, sadly enough, cannot always be secured. This situation exemplifies the problems that one can face when an education is desired but outside scarcities disallow. There are some circumstances where special educational aspects are a necessity in a certain region, but education is not global.
In most developed countries a lawyer would be considered an educated person, but if a lawyer was sent to a more primitive society he would be lost. A farmer educated in cultivation in Nebraska could nourish himself indefinitely, but take away his farm and he has nothing but the knowledge of farming. There are certain things that a person must know in order to have the power to survive in a chosen society. These things change with regards to the society at hand. In more developed places it is pertinent that you know how to read.
Without this skill a person will remained severely uninformed, disconnected, and uneducated. The ability to read is the stepping stone to self-education. A literate person with motivation and knowledge of construction can become successful with very little institutionalized education. This skill, as it applies to American social culture, is the most important attribute of an education. Without the ability to read, a person would have to either settle for an extremely unskilled job, grow their own food, or resort to thievery.
In a accomplished society such as this, not many people find the need to do these things. Instead people achieve an education, learn a trade or a profession, and earn money to prosper. However, in some societies it is perfectly normal not to be able to read, and a person will manage to survive on other skills such as hunting. Regardless of where you are or what you do, education is an asset. It is a tool that you add to every day, and that no one can take from you. Once you have truly learned something, it will be with you forever, and you will be able to put that information into use whenever it applies.
Your education is something you truly own. It cannot be taken away in a bet, by a bankruptcy, and it cannot be stolen. Once you are educated in a particular field, you have job security. If you are a programmer, and your company goes under, you will be able to find another position as a programmer. When you are educated you make more money and have the better jobs, because it shows that you are dedicated to learning. You will not age as fast as someone with a labor intensive job, and chances are you will not have a career ending injury on the job.
It is education that gives you options, keeps you connected to the world, and keeps you informed. Although an uneducated person has the resources to inform themselves, they rarely have the ability or motivation it takes to utilize these resources. An education can be achieved by anyone who has the motivation, support, and resources it takes too receive an education according to their perception. This education is a made up of support, motivation, and the necessity to survive. This education cannot be taken. This education means survival and success.