In our society, kids are constantly being compared with other kids. They are pushed to follow those who are doing better in our society and education system. Which is not a bad idea. It’s good to follow those who are successful. If we want to learn how to be successful in something, follow those who are already successful in that area. The issue is that boundary of success in our society is very limited. There are handful of career achievements that are considered as success, for example becoming a doctor, engineer etc. I’ll call these professions as Desired professions.
In this race of chasing these narrowed down successful careers, there are two types of people in our society. One who are able to move along with this education system, and achieve at least minimum requirements to get a job in the desired professions. Second type of people are the ones who are not able to move along with this education system because of lack of interest or lack of money, and they fail miserably, not because of their lack of capabilities, but because the society is designed to only honor people with limited type of skills and interests. There is no system to discover talent.
People who failed in this system, if encouraged, could have become very talented painters, poets, architects or many other creative artists or professionals. People who somehow were able to move along with the system and achieved bare minimum requirements to become a common doctor or engineer, could have become a high-quality professional in some other profession.
Because of this system, we are losing creativity in our society. Society is creating more and more professionals, but because of lack of creativity, we are running of ideas on how to get these professionals to work. Because of lack of creativity and leadership skills, these professionals are not able to create something of their own, they are just train to follow instructions.
If we look back in history, a few centuries ago, Muslims were thriving and arguably leading in science, architecture and many other driving fields of humanity. They created some marvels that people still awe about, they wrote some books that still needs PhD to understand. How were they able to do that? And what we lost in these centuries that push us back downhill?
I think the most important thing we lost is creativity. We are not trained to be creative. We are trained to cram whatever is there in textbooks. There is no sense of purpose in our training, there is no information about why we are learning all that, and where this learning will take us? Only purpose is to get a job and earn money, which is arguably means not the end of happy life. There is no training to use that knowledge to create something of our own.
Another thing we lost is leadership skills. We are not training people to become leaders. The result is a mass of skilled people waiting for someone to come, drive and tell them what to do with the skills they have.
If we think for a moment, we will realize that most important skills are creativity and leadership. If we look at some examples around us, we will realize that most important thing is an idea and then a leader who can take that idea to build something useful. Take an example of Apple. IPhone was an idea, and then a leader took that idea and with vision in his mind, made people to work on that idea and build something useful. We remember Steve Jobs as the leader of that idea, but do we know or remember names of intellectuals who built IPhone? Even today, we don’t know names of top engineers working
tirelessly behind the scene to create even better, faster and more useful versions of IPhone every few months. I’ll conclude with what we can do individually to improve our society slowly but surely.
We need to produce more creative individuals. We need to observe our kids, and try to find what they can do better than other kids and then guide them to master a skill that is most suitable according to their abilities. If they love what they do, they will figure out how to use that skill to make money. And it’s okay if they don’t earn piles of money. Money is means to be happy, but if they are happy what they are doing, money will only become a necessity.
We need to get our kids to read more books, and the best way to encourage them is be the exemplar. Readers are leaders. Reading different books opens up our imagination and gives us many ideas that we never could have come up with.
We need to make our kids confident. Train them to own their affairs. Guide them whenever required, but create an environment where they drive things on their own. If you are always there to prevent them from making mistakes, they will not be able to learn that it’s okay to make mistakes.