Just think about what they pick up by the time they get through kindergarten.
We tell small children that they can be anything that they want to be. We tell them that they can do anything they set their mind to. We tell them the story of the choo choo that said, “I think I can. I think I can,” and made it to the top of the mountain. Why do we tell them that? Is it because we want them to boldy experiment and learn? You can play peekabook with a baby over and over. They baby is amused every time. “I like that face. I can’t believe it is still there.” They have to see the experiment many many times before they get the concept of object permanance. I saw a video of a small child that walked in front of a mirror and behind it over and over trying to figure what was going on. What happened to the earlier conclusion? A baby will cry just to make sure you are still there. If you go back right away the first time, and take longer and longer after that, they eventually get the concept that you are still there even though they can’t see and hear you.
They ran a test on building the tallest structure out of marshmellows and sticks. They tested all kinds of different groups including engineers and MBAs. The kindergartners did the best. The older people were busy planning and coordinating and waiting for permission to do anything. The kidergartners just jumped in and tried more stuff. They use the scientific method. They run a lot of experiments. It is a whole lot of trial and error. Their Yo-Yo never comes back. They fail all the time.
Why does the advice change later in life? Is it because they get bombarded with authority figures telling them what not to do, and they believe it? How often do you say the word no to them? You are putting all kinds of boundaries on them. They will hear the word “No” 100,00 times by the time they are 18, and they will hear yes maybe 5,000 times. They developed a creativity test for astronauts. Small children score 85%, and it drops to 2% by the time they are adults. They are taught to judge quickly, and so they can no longer explore and create.
Why do we talk them out of believing in themselves when they get older? Is it because we want to make sure they have a certain minimum income, and we feel that the best way is be an obedient and dependable employee? Is it because parents don’t live the example, and so they don’t really believe in it? Why do they learn to never fail? Is it because of grade inflation and participation trophies? Is it because they are judged to a standard of perfection? Is it because the media has distorted our perceptions of risk by constantly playing the fear of pain and hunger?
Why do we teach them to use the information at their fingertips to numb their mind instead of enhance it? I find that learning and growing is way more fun then entertainment. Is it because we don’t want them to get distracted from the conventional path? Why do they think learning stops when they finish school? Is it because the school system has replaced our innate desire to experiment and learn with artificial incentives and channelized opportunities? Is it because the system made learning boring? Is it because we are spoonfed all the answers? Is it because all we teach them are things that are already known? What happens if they stop running experiments? What happens if they stop learning? Why do they not like their job? Is it because they are not challenged, and they are not learning? Why can’t they do it in their free time? Why won’t you let them?