12 Most Self-Serving Reasons to Educate our Youth
This 12 Most post is a companion to an Education series I am doing on my own blog. I started the series because I am passionate about educating future generations to take the baton as they enter the workforce. We cannot afford for our youth to drop that baton!
I am not in the education sector; however, I am a part of an organization trying to promote STEM education as well as getting schools and industry to partner up for solutions that enable the education experience to be both more enriching and applicable in the real world. This approach can also bridge the gap caused by funding shortfalls while allowing industry to tailor their next generation knowledge resources to suit their needs.
So here are my somewhat humorous, yet serious, 12 Most Self-Serving Reasons to Educate our Youth…
1. They will address alternative fuels and clean water issues
Here is the “S” part of STEM – Science! We keep talking about alternate fuels, and a clean water supply still flies under the radar for the general public’s concern right now. However, we need both for future survival and comfort. Otherwise, we will be biking that Escalade SUV up the hill!
Oh, and we want longevity free from aches and pains. So our kids need to come up with new, non-addictive drugs that do not damage our livers and kidneys. And while we are asking, we would like joint replacement surgery to be outpatient with no need for physical therapy!
2. They will discover the next iPad
Here is the “T” part of STEM — Technology! And we are a society that loves its toys! We need to ensure we have properly educated the next generation to create new and exciting gadgets for us to while away our golden years.
3. They will design the next engineering marvel
Here is the “E” part of STEM — Engineering! When we are in our golden years, we do not want to lose valuable time in traffic jams. We need our children to go to school and get engineering degrees, so they can ensure we expediently and safely get from Point A to Point B. This bypass bridge helps alleviate the “dam traffic” between Phoenix and Las Vegas near the Hoover Dam.
4. They pick our nursing home
Here is the “M” part of STEM — Math! At some point, one of those Retirement Communities for Active Lifestyles may be in our future. We were pretty poor saving up our own nest egg because we got caught up in the “instant gratification” societal movement to have the bigger TV and house to go along with the latest electronics. We need our kids to have a better understanding of spending less than they bring home. Then after they pay the heavy tax burden from our excesses, we would like them to have extra money, so we can enter that Shuffleboard tournament with the gold-plated false teeth as the 1st prize. Because you know… Mr. Jones (who lives next door) won the silver ones last year!!
5. We don’t want rebounds
If the kids can’t stay away when they move out, then we can never re-task their bedrooms into entertainment rooms… or “Naked Rooms” like Terry Bradshaw in Failure to Launch. Or we can’t downsize our McMansion into that nice patio home next to Mr. Jones. Our kids need to get out — and stay out!
6. They will continue developing augmented reality
Imagine how our kids can extrapolate what has already been done with projects like Google’s Project Glass. Let’s just agree to not go so far as the future described in Bruce Willis’ Surrogates.
7. They are the parents to our grandkids
When our kids are out of the house, we are likely to sell everything and move to a warmer climate like Arizona or Florida. We will want to see our grandkids frequently, and surely our kids do not expect us to spend our hard-earned retirement funds to pay for airfare to come see them, right? We want our kids to be gainfully employed and have the discretionary spending budget to ensure little Tommy gets tennis/golf/piano/French lessons, so we can be justifiably proud in their achievements. We then want them to have enough left over to fly our grandkids down to our retirement home… so we can show them off to Mr. Jones whose grandson got a “B” in 5th Grade Calculus.
8. They will add to our culture
Mozart was playing the clavier at 4 years old and composing original pieces at 5 years old. Did you know that Louis Braille invented the Braille system for the blind when he was 15 years old? STEM is an important part of education, but we should never turn our backs on the arts. We need to find our next Mozart… our next Michelangelo… our next Leonardo Da Vinci to continue adding to our culture and our pleasurable pursuits.
9. They set the direction on entitlement programs
Well, it would be unfair to expect our kids to pay for our golden years completely out of their own pockets! Therefore, we need them to become educated leaders who can then make intelligent decisions regarding the sustainability of our entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
10. They are our future employees
This is an immediate need. Our K12 education system is frequently producing graduates who require remediation before they are ready for college-level courses. Our colleges are often producing graduates who lack practical experience and training in the “soft skills” necessary for companies to truly succeed and flourish. We, as industry, need to become part of the solution. If tax dollars cannot fund programs, then we need to get creative with providing funding as well as project expertise and internship opportunities. We can tailor our workforce to suit our companies’ needs if we take the “long view” on filling the resource pipeline now — knowing that the return on investment beyond “doing the right thing” may take years.
11. They are our future employers
The cold, hard facts indicate our generation has been pretty irresponsible with the resources given to us. We do struggle with debts of our own making, and we may need to work far longer than the ever-increasing retirement age. Our kids will become the hiring managers as well as the corporate leaders charged with growing company revenues. Many of us have reached the point where we are being hired by managers coming from our kids’ generation!
12. WE OWE THEM!
We brought our children into this world. In my opinion, that makes us responsible for them to our dying breath. They may be our salvation when it comes to digging us out of the hole we dug ourselves. However, we are their protectors responsible for best equipping them to live long, productive, happy and satisfying lives.
I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes, and I look forward to your comments:
“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank… but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.” ~ Forest Witcraft
Featured image courtesy of trindade.joao licensed via Creative Commons.