A new educational program in Israel proposes to prepare 12th graders for life. They will attend it during the final six months of their K12 years, and will teach them how to manage their finances and how to conduct themselves successfully in a changing job market. Preparing children for life is a great idea, but if you start it in the final six months of their attendance in the education system then a) you will not really prepare them for anything, and b) what have you been doing during the eleven and a half years prior to the final six months? To prepare a child for life, we must first prepare the parents for parenthood, and then prepare the children from the moment they are born.
When speaking about preparing for life, we must include all aspects of life. Financial education is only one aspect, and not the most important one. Children need knowledge in every aspect of life, but the most important aspect, and the one least taught, is human relations. We may excel in our field of expertise, we may make a lot of money and be affluent, but if we cannot communicate with other people positively and make them feel good around us, then we will not be happy.
Today, the most common medical condition is depression. Most other conditions, such as various addictions, violence, eating disorders, workaholism, and so forth, ultimately stem from depression that manifests through various symptoms. Currently, the common treatment for depression involves drugs. However, drugs do not cure depression, they only dull the pain. If, on the other hand, depressed people could form supportive and positive relationships, their depression would vanish as if it never existed, and without any medications.
Today, most adults do not know how to communicate with others positively. Hence, in order to teach children how to build positive relationships with others, grownups, too, must learn the craft.
It may sound naïve or unrealistic to think that people can relate to one another without malice in their hearts, but continuing to live as we have been living until now is not only unrealistic, it is also destroying our society and our planet, and poses a real risk that another world war will break out.
Therefore, even if we fail to make a positive connection, it does no harm to anyone if we make an effort. But if we do not make an effort and continue as we are, we will surely destroy ourselves and the planet we live on, and the future we will leave for our children will be very bleak. After the catastrophe, they will still have to learn to be on good terms with one another, so would it not be better if we learned this craft and taught it to our children while we are all still here?