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jerryking : childhood   5

Engaging with the world’s ills beats hiding in a bunker
OCTOBER 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Stephen Foley.

those with real ambition are not planning for a life underground down under. They are building philanthropic ventures to tackle the world’s ills, or striving to effect change through the political process, or starting new mission-driven businesses.

The bunker mentality is the polar opposite of the optimism displayed by the likes of Jeff Bezos, who set out his philanthropic credo in September alongside his plan to build a network of Montessori-inspired preschools across the US. He talked of his “belief in the potential for hard work from anyone to serve others”, from “business innovators who invent products that empower, authors who write books that inspire, government officials who serve their communities, teachers, doctors, carpenters, entertainers who make us laugh and cry, parents who raise children who go on to live lives of courage and compassion”.

“It fills me with gratitude and optimism,” he said, “to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement.”

Bezos has decided to focus his charity on children, as many of his peers have done. From Mark Zuckerberg promising to fund a technological revolution in the way kids are taught, to the slew of east coast hedge fund managers promoting charter schools as a way to shake-up public education, philanthropists know instinctively that childhood is their point of maximum leverage.....engagement trumps disengagement. Public service matters, even if one is only stealing apocalyptic proclamations from a presidential desk. It beats burying one’s head in the New Zealand soil.

Many of the world’s richest individuals are working to avert the war, pestilence or revolution that would make a withdrawal from society seem attractive in the first place. Philanthropists who are funding human rights campaigns, or drug research, or novel approaches to tackling inequality — these are the real survivalists.
apocalypses  bolt-holes  catastrophes  charities  childhood  children  disasters  disaster_preparedness  engaged_citizenry  hard_work  high_net_worth  Jeff_Bezos  mission-driven  moguls  Montessori  New_Zealand  novel  off-grid  optimism  Peter_Thiel  self-improvement  philanthropy  public_service  survivalists 
october 2018 by jerryking
Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them
December 20, 2009 | New York Times | By BENEDICT CAREY. For
much of the last century, educators and many scientists believed that
children could not learn math at all before the age of five, that their
brains simply were not ready.

But recent research has turned that assumption on its head — that, and a
host of other conventional wisdom about geometry, reading, language and
self-control in class. The findings, mostly from a branch of research
called cognitive neuroscience, are helping to clarify when young brains
are best able to grasp fundamental concepts.
education  children  parenting  development  mathematics  learning  early_childhood_education  neurosciences  human_brains  childhood 
december 2009 by jerryking
In praise of risk
Sep 14, 2000 | The Globe & Mail. pg. A.16 | Why expose
children to even the slightest risk if we can avoid it?

First, because it costs money. The $700,000 it cost to tear down those
Toronto playgrounds, and the $30-million it will cost to replace them,
could have been spent on something indisputably worthwhile: books, or
teachers or safe-driving programs for teenagers.

Second, some level of risk is unavoidable. Life, as they say, is a fatal
disease. If we wanted to eliminate all danger to our children, we would
keep them indoors all day and tell them to hide under the bed. We don't
do that because childhood is supposed to be fun, and part of having fun
is taking risks.

Sensible risks.

A responsible society, like a responsible parent, will do everything it
reasonably can to protect the young from real, demonstrable dangers.
What it will not do is fly into a frenzy at the slightest hint of peril.
If we don't raise our children to act that way, why on earth would we?
children  schools  playgrounds  editorials  dangers  soul-enriching  risks  childhood 
october 2009 by jerryking
Things That Could Have Killed Me -
MAY 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By ROBIN HEMLEY. Things That Could Have Killed Me
It's amazing any of us survived childhood.
fatherhood  parenting  safety  risks  children  childhood 
may 2009 by jerryking

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