Our children are the future and the future is our children

What a wonderfully tidy sentence that is. It suggests that once we’ve passed the torch to them, we’ll all wander off into the sunset and enjoy a carefree retirement.


Please listen to Maureen Brosnahan’s documentary “The Double Grind” from The Barista Generation: university grads serving behind the counter. It aired on a recent The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio.

Albert Einstein had the following observations:

    • I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
    • It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
    • The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
    • Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

For those of you contemplating what kind of postsecondary education you want for your children, please consider the state of the world they’ll be inheriting from us, how little they understand it, and how little most parents understand it. It’s a safe bet that the level of thinking they’ll be applying to solving the problems they’ll find in it will be the same as the level of thinking that created them: the level at which their forebears were operating.

To date, 2013 has been marked by non-stop stories in the media about how lost and dispirited the most recent crop of university graduates is. If we’d done our job right in the first place, we wouldn’t be reading or watching them because there would have been no reason to write them.

This isn’t the fault of the education system; it’s the fault of the people who pay the bills and it reflects a lackadaisical attitude about learning and thinking and planning. What other explanation can there be for tolerating turning teachers and students into political footballs? Would you rather see politicians in the classroom?

It’s not how many people who graduate that counts, it’s what they do with what they’ve learned after they graduate. The taxpayers who contribute to the upkeep of all levels of the system have shown no inclination to demand that it teach our children how to interpret the world around them. Especially the part of it they’d like to believe will be financing the lifestyle they’ll what for themselves, assuming they find work that pays well enough long enough.

There’s a lot at stake here. In the short term, we’ll be dependent on our children to contribute to maintaining our communities with their tax dollars. But they’ll also be contributing dollars to fund corporate pension plans, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. The signs are already there that not as many of us will be walking off into the sunset and a carefree retirement as we thought.

We created Personal Due Diligence to help young people and not-so-young people interpret the world and prepare themselves for what’s waiting for them. These days everything is business and business is everything, and our approach is as pragmatic as it gets: prepare and present a thoroughly researched business case for the investment you’re proposing to make in acquiring the postsecondary schooling you’re proposing to acquire.

PDD will create the conditions in which students and their parents can learn, not only about retirement, but about today. What they learn will be theirs to keep. To find out more about what that means and how we do it, please contact us.

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