"Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem."
-- Henry Kissinger
That's why I never liked school as a kid. Because once you start, whether it's from nursery school or pre-kindergarten or kindergarten or whenever, the train ain't stopping. Each grade is progressively more difficult than the one before it; Grade 5 is harder than Grade 6, Grade 7 is harder than Grade 8, and so on and so on, all the way up until the end of university.
And what's the reward for all of our academic all-nighters?
That ain't right. We study, we slave, we go without Springer on a daily, even weekly basis, only to be rewarded by the reality of having to find an actual paying job in the world outside of academia.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there, either.
Once we get a job, if we're any good at it, we eventually get a better job. And what does 'better' actually mean?
Just a few years ago, Bush was chilling as owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, trying to figure out who to trade and who to keep. Trying to line up which beer company would sell the suds at his Texas stadium, probably. And now? Now he carries around a suitcase that contains the secret codes that can launch nuclear weapons at a moment's notice.
Think about it.
Kind of a leap in responsibility, no?
Do we want all that added pressure in our lives? (Not that we all carry around nuclear launch codes, no, but some of us do.)
Maybe our reward for all of our hard work in school and on the job is more work, work that allows us to, hopefully, challenge ourselves, achieve our potential, reach for the top and possibly cure a major disease, if we're lucky. (Or even a minor one.)
Underachievement is underrated, in my book.
And kids need to know what's coming.
I think it's incumbent on every parent to sit their child down the evening before their first day of kindergarten and say:
"Tonight is the last night of your life. Stay in the bath a little longer, play with the rubber duckie, read The Cat In The Hat one more time. I'll even let you stay up late. Because after tomorrow morning, it ain't gonna get any easier."
Or maybe it's better to keep that particular speech to yourself.
If I knew at four what I know now, I might have played sick that first day of school.
And the next, too.
And the next...