I took the rest of the Summer off and didn’t write a thing. Too much was going on with kids and schedules and there just wasn’t any time for introspective thinking or ironic commentary on life. Even though it’s still August and technically Summer, the kids have been back to school for a couple of weeks already. There were no fun trips, no long, lazy weeks waiting for Fall. It felt like business as usual…bummer !
I remember being a kid and feeling as though summer would NEVER end. The days and weeks ran together, the hot weather was relentless and you actually got bored waiting for school to start. The stores didn’t start yelling “It’s Back To School Time!!!!!” a mere 2 weeks after it had just ended. You didn’t have mandatory Summer Reading and you knew that you would be safely into September before you had to go back. Summer School was something that only the screw-ups had to deal with. You certainly didn’t stress over getting in to the classes you needed because your school was so desperately over-crowded. A good education was a given-it was up to you to work hard if you chose and hopefully, if the stars aligned and you did all you could, you would get into the College of your choice.
I look at all that kids have think about these days and I wonder how it will shape them as adults. Will they see every little thing as difficult and stressful ? Will they look back on their days at school and realize how “easy” they had it or will it all run together as a common theme through their lives: ” Not Enough Time In The Day”.
We pile on the work and the responsibility starting in Pre School , we drum it into their heads that they “had better get a head start NOW” on thinking about what College to attend and what career to choose. A 4.0 used to be the highest GPA you could aspire to-that’s just considered OK now. You can take AP Classes and College Courses and boost it to a 6.0….WHAT ???
With the future being so unsure, maybe more so than at any time in history- is there really ANY true advice you can give? Will a fabulous GPA, working your butt off from Kindergarten through College and doing EVERYTHING you can do to “get ahead” really guarantee anything? Is money, power and privilege really the true barometer of success? People used to be grateful for a “good” job that lasted 20-30 years followed by retirement and a pension. We are now told that the idea of “retirement” is obsolete and that soon there will be no such things as pensions. You will be lucky to have medical coverage and paying off a home and staying in it is probably a complete fantasy.
Deepak Chopra said in his book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” that he never pushed his kids to excel at school. They were simply told to find what it is that they loved to do and passionately pursue that which made them happy and fulfilled. Deepak said that his children are now all happy, successful and prosperous adults, doing what they love and happy with their lives. If you are like me- that’s all you could ever want for your children.
My son is 18 and just started college with his whole future to look forward to. I share what I know, I support his dreams, encourage him in his pursuits AND I bought him a copy of Deepak’s book- the rest is up to him. His generation is so utterly and completely different from mine that I feel ill-equipped to really dispense “advice” when it comes to education and career. It will be fascinating to watch how it all unfolds. I hope and believe that the revolutionary changes we are experiencing in the world now will give way to a better world.History shows that it usually does. For now, all we can do is buckle up and stay positive. Give a kid a hug today – they need it !
Have a great Labor Day Weekend – the official “End Of Summer”