The talk of heroes and the need to change their traits and profile started last week when I shared a post from Wally Bock.
Sadly, need doesn’t always drive change, so, if our society really believes there is a need to change our heroes, we must look to how we educate our children.
What about education? Is its primary purpose to prepare humans to earn a living?
Mark Zukerberg and other tech titans would have you believe STEM is critical and that tech is the solution to education’s woes.
If money, tech, and extracurricular opportunities are what’s critical to kids success, why is the teen suicide rate climbing fastest in high-income, suburban, mostly white schools (along with elite colleges and among entrepreneurs, also mostly white males).
Is there more to education than providing workers to Facebook, Google, and the rest of techdom — who will be needed only until AI is trained to write code?
There definitely is more and it was elegantly summed up by Malcolm Forbes.
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
In 2009, there was a boycott by conservative parents over a back-to-school speech by then-President Obama that focused on personal responsibility and personal choice.
However, no such blowup surrounded the speech given this year by Chief Justice John Roberts at Cardigan, his son’s private, all male prep school that addressed similar topics and attitudes. (This is an excerpt, read the entire speech at the link.)
From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.
I think if you’re going to look forward to figure out where you’re going, it’s good to know where you’ve been and to look back as well.
But you are also privileged young men. And if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you are privileged now because you have been here. My advice is: Don’t act like it (emphasis mine).
The only way we will change our hero leaders from the shallow ideologues of today is by changing education.
A new breed of heroes requires different skills, such as deep thinking, critical thinking, empathy and the entire range of so-called soft skills.
Ideology, no matter the flavor or parameters, just won’t cut it.
Image credit: Dimitris Siskopoulos