In Praise of Learning

I had the honour of listening to Honourable Minister Manual speak at a Mail & Guardian function yesterday about Youth and leadership, education and our empowerment. He ended by reading a poem by Bertolt Brecht. It resonated with me and I had to share it.

Study from bottom up,
for you who will take the
leadership,
it is not too late!
Study the ABC; it is not enough.
but study it! Do not become
discouraged,
begin! You must know everything!
You must prepare to take command,
now!
Study, man in exile!
Study. man in the prison!
Study, wife in your kitchen!
Study, old-age pensioner!
You must prepare to take command now!
Locate yourself a school, homeless folk!
Go search some knowledge, you who freeze!
You who starve, reach for a book:
it will be a weapon.
You must prepare to take command now.
Don’t be afraid to question, comrades!
Never believe on faith.
see for yourself!
What you yourself don’t learn
you don’t know.
Question the reckoning
you yourself must pay it
Set down your finger on each small item. asking:
where do you get this?
You must prepare to take command now!

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