Ernie, Father, Public Relations Consultant, MA
Imagine your child (or one you care about deeply) is now in their 30s – out of school and starting into adult life. What do you hope for them about their life? What would make it a ‘good’ life?
I want my children to be happy in whatever they chose to do and who they chose to be with – of course would love to see them have families but the most important thing really is to be happy. That is, to me, the one constant that I want to run through their lives – not that they won’t have difficulties along the way everyone does but the key to life is to feel content – and so if your job is a relatively low paying job but its what you love to do then that’s the key to happiness.
Do you think everyone agrees with you about what a good life is?
I do think that people would probably think that my ambition for my children is simplistic and I would agree with them because I think that happiness and contentment is quite simple and I think the mistake that people make often is that they choose to make it more complicated and its not that complicated.
What role do you think schooling should play in achieving that ideal good life?
You know part of what makes our society work or not work is not simply learned education you know books and history and English and math and science but also schooling is about socialization. It is about learning how to conduct yourself in a civilized way and its learning about kindness which comes in two forms: kindness that is bestowed upon you and the other that you extend to others. Those lessons are not as highly coveted and promoted as I think they ought to be.
Do you think schools are currently playing that role/doing what they should (for you/your child and for everyone)?
Yes, I would say the four of you had a rich experience that many do not experience because you had access to private education and one of the best public school systems in the country. That really gives you a head start that many kids don’t have which I also think is the problem with our education system.