Interesting, not sure I agree with the solution but the crazy amount of pressure on kids to perform and insane amount of hours required for high-paying jobs is a problem. I think about this a lot when I think about having kids. How will I shield them from this high-pressure competitive culture while also helping them to succeed?
I think even calling it a solution is undeservedly generous. As you pointed out though there were a couple valid points made in the article and the pressure being put on kids is definitely something to think about.
In my opinion the root of most of these problems comes from our society's obsession with college. The idea that you have to grind your childhood away and then pay a fortune if you're lucky enough to get into one of these schools is insane. I'd advise my kids to steer clear unless they were hell bent on going into medicine or some other regressive profession that absolutely requires a degree.
It's true. It's clearly a bad "solution" but I agree the points he brings up are worth discussing. You're right that our obsession with college and the idea that you can't be successful without a degree is harmful. Most people don't even end up using their degree in their career including myself. However, I also don't think the only benefits of college are academic.
With the abundance of free/cheap online education, it feels like college should be less and less relevant, however it only seems to be becoming more and more "required". I wonder if as online education continues to grow, there will be a bigger movement away from college. Do you think kids should pursue alternatives to college (vocational schools, online edu, etc.) or move straight into a job after high school? Basically, if a kid doesn't go to college, what should they do when they turn 18? How do they figure out what they want to do?
High school students should graduate prepared for the world. And excited to keep learning more about some part of it. We give our young ones over to the state for 18 years. The ONLY job of schools/teachers should be make these kids love learning and/or working. On anything and about anything. Cars, trees, plants, computers, whatever. Unfortunately, most students just graduate prepared for college. And they graduate college prepared for a job.
The meritocracy is to blame. Life really isn’t a competition. We should feel an urge to do and to grow because it comes from someplace within.
Agreed. There is an inherent tension between meritocracy and socialism (or the ideas of those concepts), particularly in American society. Can we be a bit more socialist (or socially-minded) while still outperforming other nations in our ideation? I think some of the (geographic) diversification of innovation has led to an increase in reliance on productivity in the American economy to set ourselves apart. The same was seen in Germany, an innovative leader before the industrial revolution, but eventually, just a powerhouse of productive employees.
Is that really socialist or socially-minded though? Letting our employees work normal hours, take time off when they need to, essentially be happier people. Might that also serve the corporation's purpose of being more productive and making more money - might a happier workforce be a more productive one?
I have a little baby and the thought that came to me was to ignore it. The article does a good job addressing that no one is really benefiting from this state of affairs. So I think I will remain agnostic, allowing my son to have a childhood of play and exploration, learning for the love of it not the pressure. If he doesn’t end up in some corporate job, the pros will balance out the cons. If he does, it’s a different balance. So my goal as his dad is to inform and empower his choice. I recently have started my own business which is much less profitable then if I went corporate but the pros certainly balance out the cons! Especially since I’m devoting myself to causes I actually care about and maintaining flexibility in my lifestyle.
I think leading by example is definitely what I will try to do, encouraging the growth mindset and instilling a love of learning. I just think it will be much harder in practice. When teachers are requiring hours of homework every night, will I just allow my kid to get bad grades? Enroll them in another school? What if I can't afford a different school?
I am also an entrepreneur making significantly less money than I would in a traditional job. It's difficult and I still question myself all the time. I believe in it, which is why I'm still doing it, but it's hard to know how long is too long. When is it time to change direction and are the pros outweighing the cons? I think it's different depending on your situation of course, but the questions are hard to answer.
I love this article. Somehow, we’ve come to accept that serving our employers is more important than serving ourselves and our loved ones.
Tragic and true.