We’re all born with personalities and, by a young age, it is clear which kids:
- Have more energy and might never do well behind a desk
- Which are independent and do great when left to their own devices
- Which like to read
- Which like to build and create
We push the ideas that business, math, and science are the smart choices. But some kids don’t fit into that box and we tend to quietly let them fall by the wayside, quietly labeling them as the distracted kids with their heads in the clouds that “can’t seem to keep up with the math lessons”. Here is a great moment to ask, what did one of the most intelligent people in history have to say about intelligence? Albert Einstein:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
We should be asking which are artists and musicians, which are dancers and like theater. But we aren’t. Artists are usually artistic from a young age and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know they will likely to never give a shit about science. Yet they have to take chemistry, biology, and math courses.
You don’t get great engineers by forcing a theater kid into a science class.
You know how there’s dopey middle managers in every corporation, people grinding it out who suck at their job? Did it ever occur to you that they were once very artistic but society pushed them into the business world? They were supposed to be a painter or costume designer or script writer in Hollywood but someone told them that they needed to grow up. So they went to school, got a degree, got a white collar job, and spent the next 40 years being dead weight in a corporation instead of a painting beautiful art or doing costume design for a Broadway play.
Our world is changed by dreamers but our systems don’t reward dreamers… unless they are Harvard kids with venture capitalist backing. Kick Starter is starting to change that but its a small step. The internet is the biggest forest in the world and lots of products have wandered in to never be found again.
I truly believe that there are few truly stupid in the world, who brains can’t absorb knowledge and who are incapable of working hard. Yet there are lots of people who seem stupid because they spend their time doing things they don’t give a shit about. And there are plenty of people who seem lazy because they’re being asked to do something they don’t give a shit about.
Imagination is more important that knowledge. -Einstein
One thing I know for sure, people are almost always better at doing the things they like them at doing things they don’t like. If you want to create a mediocre society full of mediocre people, tell everyone to do something they don’t like for their career.
Ken Robinson on education: