P. Edronkin

Sparking Vocations



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I was recently thinking that our educational systems are in need of an overhaul, but not just of procedures, techniques or administrative methods; instead of that we need a change of intentions.

We live in a world where most people are poor, have problems feeding themselves and never make it in life. Even in the so-called īdeveloped countriesī mediocrity is the rule. Indeed, citizens of these countries donīt have to fight lice and hungry dogs trying to eat people, but everyone has its share of unhapiness.

Just think about the fact that in countries like the United States many people are plainly obese. You donīt get there by living healthy, and if you donīt live healthy you are ill, plain and simple.

Of course, we need the academic bits of knowledge that we get at school, but it would be interesting to try to awaken dormant vocations by exposing children to various experiences such as sailing in a boat, or flying in a small aircraft.

Going to college, getting married, getting settled, getting fat and getting in debt is not precisely a definition of success, even if some of these steps might indicate success in an isolated way: You finished college, right but does that mean success if you die of a hearth condition five years later because of your unhealthy feeding habits?

Does getting into a life-long debt to buy a house because thanks to your degree you got a loan means success? During my grandparent's time, getting a degree meant actually getting the money that you needed to buy a house, not a loan. People could buy things and make investments actually without getting into debt. My parents bought a house, a building and several cars that they owned always paying hard cash. We went visiting many countries and the airline tickest were always paid in cash. My mother never got a credit ard until she was over sixty years old, and that was in order to buy some things online.

Now everyone has a credit card, your "wealth" is described by the credit card you have and hence, your "wealth" is defined by the depth of the loan hole others think that you can fall into. And now, actually having cash to pay for a home or a nice trip to Polynesia is seen as suspucious activities, more related to money laundering than being a doctor who married another M.D., like in the case of my parents.

You may be very happy with your marriage, but finding love is used as an excuse many times to cover oneīs own lack of enthusiasm to pursue further goals. Settling down may be assuming responsibilities as a father or mother, but it is also used to escape from other duties to ourselves.

The worst thing of settling down is not that we do it at one time or another, but that we mentally drag others in the process.

Moreover, the poor and destitute of any country get accustomed to remain as such because they begin to use their tragic status as an excuse for their incapabiliy at the same time as those who are not so poor, by the very act of charitable help, seem to papmer their lack of success in the sense of fulfilling their dreams, and not just their pockets or their mouths. The also settle down in the midst of their condition.

If you have a child who has had a very limited experience in life, a fact that may well hide options, choices and reasons, and show him or her interesting things to do, you may also be showing them more than just an activity, but a way of life.

Take for example the case of an aircraft: an instructor at a flying club may take children of a school for short rides around the runway. This simple event will remain unforgettable in their minds for the rest of their lives and make them feeling better than most other things.

And it might spark the vocation in more than one, turning out pilots and - who knows - even astronauts.

So, letīs not continue to pretend that we are helping the world by throwing a couple of coins in the hands of beggars for we are not; just show them the way and their spirit will do the rest.

Flying and sailing are more costly than dozing on beer, indeed, but letīs not use cost as anexcuse for not education, for this is precisely mediocrity by definition.




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