The other day one of clients who is a senior in high school, looked me dead in the eye and said, “Hey, Risk equals Reward!”
It stopped me dead in my tracks.
Me: “Where did you come up with that one?”
Him: “My economics teacher.”
Me: “Well your economics teacher is a Stupid F#CK” !
The kid, startled, looked at me glazed eyed and asked, “What do you mean?”
Me: “I mean that is a stupid f#ck’n thing to say, a stupid F#ck’n thing to believe and a stupid policy to practice.”
Him: “Well that may not be exactly what he meant…”
Me: “Yeah well my response to your teacher is “You must have a very unrewarding life since you are a school teacher, in the lowest risk profession, teaching a bunch of unsophisticated kids who don’t know enough to challenge you on anything. No risk in your life therefore no reward.”
Me: “… and I am just getting started!!!” (and any one who doesn’t understand how I work and why I do this the way I do it, will probably think it is even more harsh than this teen did… One thing for certain, he was listening and will remember…)
Who permits idiots like this to teach kids such stupidity? Forget it, I already know the answer, WE DO. Day in and day out in fact our kids are exposed to utter stupidity, outdated information and narrow thinking by often times well-intentioned school teachers and we are nowhere around to be there to insulate them from the assault on their sensibility and in fact are expected to stand by and support the invasion of this nonsense into our home lives in the form of “home-work”.
I sometimes run into parents – typically dad’s though occasionally mom’s – who have been encourage by their spouse to meet me and support me working with their kids, and who upon hearing a little about what I do, respond with “Well isn’t that my job to be doing that for my kid?”.
Of course it is our job as parents to be doing this for our kids. I also think it is our job as parents to be surrounding our kids with strong, positive, morally mature wise adults to help us as well. My wife and I have already begun searching for them and collecting them for our children to have in their life as their teachers and advisors… people I’d much rather them get advice from than from their peers who know little or nothing more than they do (which is where most teens get their advice). I firmly believe (and have substantial historical evidence to support this belief) that it was never intended to be a parent’s job alone to raise kids into adulthood. It was always throughout history, the shared responsibility of the community, especially for the elders of “the tribe” to play a critical role.
And yet these same parents who are so discerning in engaging my services (and I encourage them to be and respect them for doing so), will hand their kids over to school teachers for 7 hours a day for 12 years with little to no vetting, and often with no challenge whatsoever to the content, method or approach these teachers teach, offer and take with their kids. Now, having worked in schools and closely with them for almost 15 years now, I can say first hand I have met some phenomenal people working and teaching there, people whom it is a gift and inspiration for kids to be able to spend a year in a room with. Sadly though, I’ve also met too many idiots like this guy; and too many uninspired, burned out people who by law can keep their jobs but who by any order of ethical code, should have been cut loose years ago.
Yet we allow the system to dictate who our kids must be exposed to for hours a week, years at a time and do virtually nothing about it or the content they push on them… This to me is a##-backwards!
If my son came home and told me the teacher told him “Risk = Reward” I’d be in the teacher’s room the next morning. If indeed it is what the teacher said, I’d be grilling him on what exactly he thinks a teen-aged kid will do with information like this… On the difference between considered, critically assessed risk versus random risk…on the difference between correlation and causality… on the difference between association and equality… on what exactly risk means and more than anything on what constitutes reward… By the end of our chat, the teacher and I would either be much closer together (and for an idiot like him that would likely mean him much more like me) or I would be taking this to another level in the school…
Then regardless of the outcome with the teacher, I’d be taking my son to speak with real life people in the financial and business world who apply real life economics, and have them sit down and begin talking with him about the realities of risk and reward, of painful and costly mistakes by taking foolish risks, how they could have avoided them had they paid closer attention to the signs that are always present… I’d let them offer him “street smarts” from the roads in real life, not the hallways of isolated institutional academia…
Then when that was done, we’d be going and meeting with a group of people in their 80s and even 90s who could teach him about what they know about what it means to have REAL REWARD in a life… the kind that makes a life worth living… the kind that makes a life RICH regardless of whether or not a person is wealthy.