REFLECTION: One reader suggests Christmas is a time to reflect on the role of the mother.
REFLECTION: One reader suggests Christmas is a time to reflect on the role of the mother. ChrisGorgio

LETTERS: Mothers deserve to be valued

All mothers are special

AS CHRISTMAS approaches, our thoughts will once again be directed toward the historic and miraculous birth of the saviour of the world, Jesus Christ.

For believers, this is a very special time of the year, as it not only throws the spotlight on the baby Jesus, but on his family as well.

Joseph was of course an ordinary person like any other man.

So was Mary but for the fact that she was chosen for a very special role in life at a very early age.

Jesus's birth was spiritual (Luke 1:35). People warm to young mothers generally, while those in public life such as Princess Kate and Mary, attract special attention (sometimes intrusive) from the media and the press.

We embrace them in our hearts for the endearing way they respond, and also with a measure of empathy and compassion for the many pressures and burdens which they have to bear.

There is nothing more beautiful in all of God's creation than a young mother, especially one whose heart is full of love and open to receive those things which are true and pure, honest, lovely, just and of good report (Phil.4:8).

Although not exposed to public life to the extent that celebrities are, all young mums experience pressures in the community, the workplace and the home.

It is for this reason that they should be given respect, recognition, and recreation.

Like many young mothers today, Mary experienced extreme agony of soul (Luke 2:35), not only in the early stages but throughout her entire life. She was misunderstood and often felt neglected and ignored (Matt 12:46-50). Yet, even while suffering on the cross for your sin and mine, Jesus makes sure that his mother is taken care of (John 19:26-27).

How wonderful his thoughtfulness toward his mother.



Education thoughts

THE ABC has carried a news item regarding the skills shortage and choice by students of university over apprenticeships.

Rather than a coincidence this appears to be propaganda aimed at this year's school leavers.

Education is a preparation for life, not a career.

University education increases choice.

It should never be seen as a means to an end.

Career and vocational training is not the responsibility of universities.

Australia lacks a third tier in the educational system since it was abolished by government review of higher education 30 years ago.

Rather than resolute adherence to the current failed system, a modernising remodelling is urgently required.

In short, a model of post- school education is as follows: Degree and post- graduate courses for research and academic careers; vocational diploma and post diploma courses for hands-on, on-site careers; and, workplace apprentice- ships, traineeships and work skills courses for workplace jobs.

Current school leavers are likely to change career paths at least three times and actual jobs no fewer than 17 times.

For this fluidity in the workplace a worker needs to prepared.

My advice to school leavers is to graduate with a degree or diploma and use post-graduate studies to satisfy workplace requirements.

While enrolment in degree studies for a mature- aged student seems an attractive option, it is a substantial strain on a young family when parents need to concentrate on family life.

This does not denigrate upgraded apprenticeship schemes that will still provide for most school leavers entering the workplace.

There is no "one scheme fits all” solution.

However, the higher the educational level achieved the greater is the long-term career choice in a changing work environment.

There is no reason whatsoever for a graduate or post graduate from starting in life as an apprentice chef.



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