One day my elder daughter came from school and asked me.
Who was Thomas Edison?
“A great scientist, an inventor” I said.
She replied, “he never went to school, he was deaf, and how did he invent light bulb?”
I paused for a moment and trying to know what her intention was.
She asked me again very curiously, “you are a doctor, you are a scientist, you spend more time in laboratory than with us, what did you invent?”
I was struggling to give her answer, but she immediately diverted her attention to fashion design that she was bringing up to me for last couple of weeks.
My daughter is just 10 years old, 5th grader.
She was raging to me, “why don’t you send me in fashion design course rather than my usual school?”
She repeated again, “Thomas Edison never went to school but gave light bulb to the world.”
I felt I needed to continue this conversation, so I told her, “you have to finish high school first to start fashion design course.”
“Why?” she questioned.
“Because you need to know basic reading, writing, and mathematics” I told.
“What?” “I already know them” she replied.
“No, you know reading but not how to read fast; you know writing, but not how to write fast; you know addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division but you need to know how to do all of them very fast” I told her.
“These are basics in life and are required before to join fashion design or any course.” I told her.
“Aly, you can excel all of these things during high school after that you are free to fly in your destination.” “I will not only let you fly but also support to achieve your dream.” I told her.
Thanks god. My conversation abruptly ended because her younger sister called her inside.
After this conversation, I paused for a moment.
I recalled a book, I had read a while back, a must-read book by Dr. Jordan Peterson-12 rules for life. Jordan is not only a good author but also a clinical psychologist. One of his 12 rules says, don’t let your child do anything that makes you dislike her.
I have no objection with fashion design or any other profession, the only thing I was more curious was to know how she got influenced with it.
I can definitely tell that committed self-education with self-motivation beats formal education even though it lacks 21st century validation called diploma.
I could not tell my daughter you could become Leonardo da Vinci or Benjamin Franklin or Wright brothers of fashion design if you quit school. But I needed to teach her not to be on trap of passing by shiny objects in life.
My worry was she shouldn’t be a movie played out of direction.
There is another part I didn’t tell my daughter which she needs before joining fashion design. She has to learn how to develop manner and character? And how to be generous, compassionate, and empathetic? I believe these are core principles to instill before to pick any career.
Life is built by scientists, doctors, farmers, builders and engineers. These people will guide and influence our life in many different ways. These people are more than they are.
We have a tendency to follow a media person, a celebrity, or a sportsperson who have produced very little value to evolve the society.
Many of us have our own taste of life. We admire a celebrity and follow in social media even if the celebrity is a drug addict. Celebrities, media persons divorce each other, they alienate their children. It becomes breaking news in the national television, and we follow that news.
Value based recognition which is actually very important for the younger generations to teach is depleting. It is very sad.
We are not teaching kids about our standards of value-base community. They need to learn what is valuable and what is pleasurable. Who brings more value to the society, a scientist or a celebrity?
Most of the pioneering scientists have decided to sacrifice the present to the future. They don’t express dissatisfaction about it. They don’t say take the easier path.
They don’t take anything but are happy. They get stuck in the laboratory and remain unknown and unloved. Many scientists do the same with a hope that one day one result will transcend the generations.
Doing science is a choice of value creation and comes with its own standards and limitations. Science is not an expedient reciprocal arrangement and scientists are morally obliged to produce something that makes the world a better place in the long run.
Science is also a unique mix of thinking and risk. But if experiment doesn’t work, scientist has to transfer thinking power to next generation to create better ideas that make people far stronger and healthier.
Scientist’s mind is a battle ground for thinking with aim to cure schizophrenia, cancer, and diabetes.
It’s essential to follow and surround ourself with these minds than with media person and celebrities. It is.
It requires a lot of strength, courage, and pain to follow the footsteps of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla so that we will take supersonic jet with vertical takeoff and landing to go to Mars.
We always face the world with many shiny bombardments and distractions. We have to teach our kids how to see valuable things. Kids cannot see value if we don’t teach how to focus. And they cannot focus if we don’t teach them which is valuable and which is pleasurable.
With love, teaching and guidance, any kid can be resilient to achieve dream career beyond imagination.