You never forget that initial moment when you realize that some of those patented lessons gained during your youth are faulty.

You never forget that initial moment when you realize that some of those patented lessons gained during your youth are faulty.

You can instantly recall some of that “wisdom” by heart. For instance:

If you earn a college degree you will get a good job. Too bad “good job” doesn’t equal “lucrative job.”

 

America embraces free speech. That is, unless you utter an idea that is contrary to popular opinion or upsets your boss.

 

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves. This is true, on paper. But how many slaves have you read about that suddenly cast down their sacks of cotton and sauntered off the plantation after Lincoln’s order?

 

The president and Congress want what’s best for America. Strangely, that “America” always consists of special interests and citizens who cast votes to place those officials into office.


Around our early 20s we begin to see the cracks in those ideas. Strangely we still pass these same falsehoods to our children. The chain of faulty thinking then comes full circle and infects another generation.

For the sake of our children, we need to begin telling them more of the truth. We don’t need to open the whole treasure chest of life (save the realities of Santa Claus and mom’s late night shouts to God), but if we want to fully equip our children to be successful we need to level with them on more than a few issues.

First, attending a college or university isn’t the ideal route for everyone. There are many successful people who followed their dreams and invented the Next Big Thing or polished their crafts with the experience of life. The only thing that a college degree guarantees is debt. Employers want experienced workers first and foremost.

Let’s tell them that many people in our country didn’t support Martin Luther King Jr., and the nonviolent civil rights movement, including some members of their family. This doesn’t mean Grandpa or Uncle Jimmy was evil, but no one was around to open their minds to the true notion of equality. The teaching tool for our children is to expand their exposure to multiple cultures and ideas.

We always tell our babies that money doesn’t grow on trees. However it does grow in the bank, albeit very slowly and more so for those who own and operate the bank. The rich stay rich by spending other people’s money. The lesson: own your property and make it work for your benefit.

The world is constantly evolving, and our children need a stronger understanding of its history and its present. Parents and loved ones are a child’s first teachers.

Let’s teach them something they can actually believe in.