Literate or Illiterate? That is the question!

Courtesy of Eva. Thank you!

We all run for education, Bolognia’s way of education. Are we better off? Is our world better with all this specific education so many of us received and still receive with even more of specific to the specific in the specific? In a word-Specific!

However, did you know that Michael Faraday, that is presented today as a scientist, received ” little formal education,” and that Nikola Tesla did not graduate from Gratz university because his professor was ironic to him when he expressed his vision of induction AC motors? He just left the university! Below there is a story in free translation from the Serbian language where the immortal late Serbian writer Momo Kapor narrates it.
He will always be remembered!

There was one Obren (Obrien) Milicevic from the village of Zvjerina(Beast) in Herzegovina. There was nothing in the village except some grass and rocky ground, so most of the inhabitants were shepherds. In 1922 Obrad heard that in the nearby town of Bileca there was an opening, try-out for gendarmes.
As big and tall as he is, 210 cm, Obren applied for the competition. He went to Bileća and passed everything in the competition. He was the best in pistol and rifle shooting. First in shoulder throwing and wrestling. He ran fast, was smart, and bright, and was accepted to become a gendarme.
The time had come for him to sign the accession agreement, and he was told to do so. However, he says: “I can’t.”
Why can’t you sign the good Obren? Well, you were the best at everything, they told him. I can’t because I’m illiterate, answered Obren. And our Obrene, then you can’t become a gendarme. A gendarme must know how to write. You have to write applications, lawsuits, reports, fines…and you couldn’t do that. Disappointed, Obren went to the nearby port of Kotor and he got, on loan, a ship ticket, and went to America. Directly to New York. The day he came there, he said that it was exciting as it was a “market day” and all shops were open! In his Herzegovina market day was once a week! Every Friday!
He did not stay long in New York. He went to Arizona. For him, Arizona was like Herzegovina, a wasteland with water shortage. Obren, now Obrien( The name of all immigrants is changed when coming to America, so Obrad became Obrien as even his surname Militzewitch was hard to pronounce), built a rock house where he slept near the fireplace covered by ram’s skin, as he was doing in his native Herzegovina. He had a sheep farm and was selling his sheep to the butchers in the city of Phoenix. His sheep were of very good quality as he had experience in how to breed them.
One day, he came to an idea to secure his water supply and started to dig the land to make a reservoir for the accumulation of rainwater.
As he started to dig the hole, the jet started to hiss. But it was not water! It was oil! Crude oil!
So, Obrad, Obrien Milichewitsch, started to sell that oil in barrels. He managed to become one of the richest people in Phoenix. One day a representative of a big Texas oil company approached him and asked him to join his business with them. After short negotiations, he accepted the offer, and the lawyers were called to seal the deal.
Contracts were made and when the time came to sign the contract Mr.Obrad,Obrien Militszewitsch, said: “I can’t.”
So the lawyer, surprised, asked “why Mr. Obrien?”
“All the details were negotiated and agreed and you will have tremendous profits,” the lawyer continued.
Obrad, now Obrien Militsewitzsch, said: ” Yes all is ok for me, but I cant sign because I am illiterate.”
The lawyer smiled and said: “Mr.Obrien, that can be fixed!” “However, Mr.Obrien, as you are now a very successful and rich person, can you imagine what would you be if you were literate?!”
“I know” Obrad, Obrien Milicevic said.
“I would be a gendarme in Bileca in Herzegovina.”

Serbian late writer Momo Kapor narrated the story of Obrad- Obrien

Again, so grateful to the late Momo Kapor for sharing this story with us! That is how you outlive yourself!


Darko Richard Lancelot
Connect and Respect

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