One thing that drives me insane, is people who take advantage of young people.
And right now, I think the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and all its equivalents in different states, are taking advantage of a young person's innate compulsion to be their best and do something great with their life.
The HSC is still being peddled as a ticket to university for those who aspire to a degree-qualified field, but now, supported by government looking to prop up their employment figures, it is also being touted as the 'must-have' piece of paper in order to function in society!
I am passionate about the world of business and helping people build a program, system or service aligned with the gifts that they have to bring to the world - and it seems like everyday, in reading about business people, I come across another successful person who was tagged with ADHD or Dyslexia or some other reason NOT to succeed by the school system - and yet, here they are.
These names sounding familiar? ALL of them considered failures by the school system. ALL of them went on to achieve various forms of greatness and made a positive contribution to the world as we know it today.
One of them - Albert Einstein is credited for the famous quote:
"If we judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will spend the rest of its life believing that it is stupid"
I spoke with a young girl this week, quite distraught about her inability to manage her time and all the things she wanted to do PLUS complete the study requirements that her school was asking of her. 5 hours in the classroom + 5 hours at home.
It sounds reasonable because its we've heard it for so many years now, but has anyone stopped to think about it?
That's 10 hours per day for 5 days per week.
That's a 50 hour work week.
FairWork Australia describes an 'ordinary' work week as a 38 hour week and if you do this more than one week, you should be having a conversation with the employer to discuss how this can be averaged out - and yet here we are telling our 16/17 year olds that 'ordinary' = 50 hours per week.
You know what I think is going on here?
When a young person is 16/17 years old they should be discovering themselves.
They should be learning WHO they are and what they are called to do on this planet. Teenagers are hard-wired for passionate, radical thinking. We think of their under-developed frontal lobes as a curse (and let's be honest - sometimes it is!) but there's a reason for it... They can take new pathways and make new decisions that older, so-called 'wiser' heads don't see.
These are the years that can make the man or woman into who they become for the rest of their lives... and yet, what do we do?
Like the Hunger Games - we put them in a walled arena and force them to compete, telling them that their life (future) will depend on it.
We condition them.
Don't think your way - do it like this - or fail.
Work ridiculous amounts then party hard to forget.
Work = Salvation
We are indoctrinating our children with a social script that they will spend the rest of their lives trying to follow diligently. Some of them, 20 years down the track when they haven't stumbled across the happiness they were promised, might start to question - "Is this all there is to life?" Who am I really?
We are enslaving our kids to the blessed world of 'ordinary'
I know that saying "don't work like this" is going to be extremely unpopular.
Not only am I challenging conventional wisdom being propagated by the education system and as a consequence, our society in general - but it's also going to be easy to misconstrue my message as an excuse for laziness. That's NOT what I'm saying.
I LOVE work.
I think work can be a beautiful expression of service to the world. And I think, when you love what you do, you'll WANT to spend excessive amounts of time doing it. But we're unlikely to find THIS kind of work when our system dulls our children's intuitions and limits their outlook and choices.
We can educate smarter than this.
Education is a pathway, not a destination - and you have CHOICES.