“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” Dalai Lama
This is a quote that I hope all children (and adults, alike) think about before they pass judgment on someone else’s path, or put so much pressure on a young mind to be on a “path to success,” (or someone else’s version of that path).
Free will and choice are what makes being human and living in the free world so amazing. The ability to wake up and say, “I am going to learn black and white film photography.” Or, “I’m going to take an edX course in neuroscience.”
In school, kids really, really need to learn the soft skill of empathy. And, we must support everyone in being on a different road. The “athlete” road, the “music” path, the “not-so-advanced math” route. To the people among every group, there are insiders and outsiders. Who cares? Every path has opportunities. There’s quite a bit of talk of uninvented jobs of the future. So, the imperative is for us to help kids find their passion and have the skills and confidence to be successful on whatever path they may be on in that moment.
As educators, it’s our job to help personalize the learning for every child, regardless of what path they’re on.
Perhaps there should be less stress or emphasis on what path someone is on, and more emphasis supporting different paths, having the skills to learn something new, seeing opportunities, listening, empathizing, and taking action.