What Building A Legacy Is Not
One of the things that drives me nuts is when I’m at my son’s youth wrestling tournaments and I see the parents, usually dads, trying to relive their lives through their kids. I just want to yell out, “Just ’cause he looks like you doesn’t make him your clone!”
But that would lead to me getting kicked out and possibly sued. So I’ll just vent here in a hopefully constructive manner.
The problem as I see it is that across our society, we’re obsessed with following trends. We have tools to tell you what marketing trends are, we try to get our kids into the schools that have prepared other people’s kids for their lives, we want the cars that have kept the most people safe over the longest period of time in the most places.
Some of that is sensible but it’s hardly the best way to plan a career. Because we structure education that way, we have people who give half-hearted service at work, then after work and on the weekends, drive themselves to exhaustion in pursuit of their hobbies. Who scream at their kids from the sidelines because they’re afraid to see history repeat itself.
What if we structured education so we identified what people enjoyed doing, what they gravitate towards naturally, then helped them to hone their skill in that area so they can do it for a living later? That’s crazy you say. There’s no way that would ever be successful. Except that it is. It’s roughly the pathway successful strength coach Zach Even Esh followed to become successful.
Okay, but that’s an isolated example you say. There’s no way that would ever be successful on a broader scale. Except that it is. That’s how we narrow down what sports a kid plays. They might start out playing a lot of different sports, but as they start showing promise in one, we start spending extra money to get them better and better instruction in that sport. We even encourage them to spend time outside of formal instruction, getting better and better at it. Amazingly enough, it works. In fact, the only time it doesn’t work, is when parents, usually dads, try to push their kids into sports they don’t want to play. Every single time a kid is good at a sport and is passionate about that sport and we support him in it, we end up with Olympians, professional athletes.
In fact, when a kid isn’t necessarily technically gifted but is passionate and we support him, we end up with legendary coaches. In both cases that’s a win.
So why don’t we do that with every other way of making money? Why don’t we expose kids at the lowest grade levels to multiple fields of human endeavor, identify what they enjoy doing, then encourage them to pursue that instead of wasting their time for years taking classes they’ll never use once they leave their government sponsored brick and mortar box?
Maybe I expect too much out of education.