Coming To A Camp Near You

August 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I just read this story on about a camp in Chongqing, China, where kids as young as two years old are sent so their talents are discovered by “experts” and then cultivated by the kids’ parents.

The Chinese don’t want to waist anytime figuring out how to make their kids excel – watch out for coming to America – but in my opinion what they are leaving out is life is not a science.  Actually, as John Lennon so famously said: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

Trial and error is such an important part of life.  It creates thick skin and determination.  Also, how many people have been able to overcome their perceived short comings for a particular profession to go on to excel?  What about Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a tap dancer who overcame losing a leg in a childhood accident and had a long career that included frequent performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”?   Would you have told Peg Leg that he shouldn’t tap dance because he didn’t have a leg? Then what would have happened to him? Would he have ended up being a factory worker or been supported by family or charity?  What about Tyronne “Mugsy” Bogues 5’3″ and a NBA player?  How many players 6″ and over didn’t accomplish what Tyronne did? 

And what about the stress that these parents are putting their kids under?  Such focus on succeeding.  Imagine if one of these experts tells the parents that their kid is destined to be a doctor and the kid flunks medical school.  Or develops a blood phobia and can’t be in a hospital or clinic.  What would happen to such a person who has spent their life up to that moment thinking they would be doctors?  I’m willing to bet that person would spend many hours on a shrink’s couch thinking they were a failure.

I wish parents would just love and respect their kids and support them in finding out for themselves what they want to do with their lives. I wish before people had kids they would understand their kids’ lives belong to them not the parents.  After all, the world is plentifully populated.  These days having children is a choice not a species necessity.