I was watching TV recently and there was this little kid on a talent show who was so petrified of disappointing his parents that he begged and pleaded with the judges to let him through to the next round. My heart grieves for kids like that. Children should never have to bear the price for their parents’ misplaced priorities. I, for one, am actively trying to shield my kids from the rat race that awaits everyone who wants to run.
And I am putting my money where my mouth is. When it was time to enroll Moshe, my firstborn, in school and everyone advised me to enroll him in one board so that he would have a “competitive advantage”, I nodded my head and then went and did the exact opposite.
Well, I don’t want my son to spend the best years of his life stressing about learning things that won’t help him one bit when he grows up. I’d rather he just enjoy being a child. We all get only one childhood, right?
People need to realize that education is not a substitute for good character. I have seen educated idiots and I have seen “successful” jerks. The education business and talent shows that decide a child’s worth based on the externals can take their fancy degrees and trophies and shove it.
Want to be part of the rat race? Be my guest. Keep driving your kids nuts by having them chase plastic degrees and fancy job titles till they are so worked up they turn to drugs and alcohol. What goes around, come around. One day, your misadventures will surely come back to haunt you. Then, you’ll wish you had invested more in your child’s emotional well-being rather than focus purely on academics and other externals.
As for me, I’d rather my sons know who God is and where true blessings really come from. I’d rather they learn how to be happy in a twisted world, instead of learning what the capital of Mongolia is. I don’t want my sons to have a competitive advantage…in fact, I don’t want them to compete at all. With good grades, without good grades, they are just as precious. And they will always be.
And in case you really want to know, the capital of Mongolia is Ulan Bator.