In preparing our next generation for the future, we need to start re-thinking what are some fundamental skills (not content) that we must equip our people with that will allow them to adapt and deal with whatever comes along without having us trying to predict and then optimise for the future. It calls for a zero-base sort of reconstruction of our education system.
And one of the things I identify as really important for our people is the ability to develop visions for the future. We have gotten so bad at it because we have almost come to live only for the moment. We have become impatient, and our minds are constantly craving for the next thing to occupy it, without desiring the space and time to construct more elaborate scenarios and think about alternative futures.
The only time our minds tend to consider alternative realities is almost definitely when we experience regret, when we allow our minds to keep dwelling on some possibilities that would transpire when we ourselves made a different set of choices. That kind of visioning is counterproductive; which goes to show how important it is to teach our kids how to positively and productively develop visions.
Visioning is important because when kids can develop elaborate future possibilities and implant themselves in them, they are better able to motivate themselves. And they’d be able to see how many more things in life connects together and how they can be driven to take certain actions which may not bear fruits immediately but pay off within their vision. Being able to do positive visioning also helps to enhance psychological resilience and allow them to see the nature of ‘regret’ for what it is, and to develop the emotional strength to cope with them.
Yet when was the last time, from within the system, teachers or principals wake up and say, I have to teach the kids how to develop visions of the future and work towards them. We are too bogged down by legacy – we need to work on these things from a zero-base.