Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Molding Youth

Today, Lim Leng Hiong wrote a VERY insightful post on the pressure for total and absolute excellence that some students usually have from parents (or, at least part of the post was about that). I TOTALLY agree with him, that students shouldn't be treated like cannonballs, their entire life calculated from the beginning to achieve some maximum height. For one thing, cannonballs behave much differently than birds when obstacles come into the way. For one thing, if a cannonball meets a wall, it will do one of two things. Either crash through, falling significantly short of the goal. If this is the case, the only achievement will be a pile of rubble. If the wall is significantly stronger, the cannonball will bounce off, and end up right back where it came from. However, a bird, if it encounters a wall, can either fly over, or fly around, then it won't be an obstacle anymore. The bird might even find a small hole in the wall, and climb through to the other side! Sure it might meet a couple of rats, but it WILL reach the end, with more glory and splendor than any cannonball could have! Even the space shuttle, which has enough precision to land in the exact same spot on the pavement at Kennedy Space Center, still has flexibility to change its flight plan when needed. Anyways, I'm taking this analogy WAY too far.

Luckily, I've been treated like a bird. I'm extremely thankful to my parents for treating me so. I'm thankful my parents haven't scheduled my entire day out for me. I'm thankful my parents aren't persistently involved in my life, putting me in the back seat. I'm thankful my parents haven't signed me up for a bajillion programs and classes to fill up any kind of spare time I might have. I'm thankful that their acceptance of me as me has enabled me to motivate myself to do what I want, well! Instead of reading about the latest discovery in cosmology, I could be taking a "personal development" class. Instead of following the silly and hilarious hijinks of creationists, I could be training to play volleyball. Instead of writing this post and maintaining this blog, I could spend it practicing my piano. However, I don't think those fit me. I feel like I'd benefit much more from reading Pharyngula than going through dull SAT routines. Heck, if I took time to learn another language, I probably wouldn't have been able to put in the investment to learn Linux. It may be a large investment of time, to discover stuff you didn't know about, and to learn how to fix things you break, but it's well worth it. Now I'm not advocating living a hedonistic (see I can use an SAT word) lifestyle, but I feel that nourishment of a person's strengths will benefit them much more than throwing whatever you can at them. I agree that, in this time of hyper-competitive college admissions, many parents have lost sight of this. In the rush to decorate their child's college application and their child's future, they forget to stop and think about their child right now! This does, in fact, lead to resentment. Don't fire them out of a cannon, nurture them, listen to them, and most of all, respect them.

1 comment:

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Hi Cactaur, I'm glad you like my post. Cheers!