Ahhh...Chris Hedges - I love you!
This is exactly where I'm at with my view on education. I even blogged at MUMmedia about the problems with teaching kids to be successful as opposed to building their character.
There have been times when I have focused too much on academic achievement.
I once read a book about Chinese tiger mum's and although I was horrified at just how hard they pushed their children, it made me feel like I was being way too lenient with my own. I wanted to take a leaf (just one) out of their parenting philosophy to give my children the opportunity to succeed academically.
In a time where we have more money than ever to spend on our children's education and enrichment, it's easy to get off track. We may find ourselves busily attending activity after activity truly believing that we are giving our kids the best. In reality, our kids probably just want (and need) to be at home in an environment where they can talk, discuss and interact with us - daily. It is through these interactions that children have the opportunity to develop their character. We need to be present in their lives (in a big way) to model and teach the values we want to instill in them.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will
I like to remind myself of this verse when I feel my thoughts and focus drifting too much towards achievement.
Of course I want my children to be successful but I don't want to conform to the world's definition of success.
I want to live and teach my children to live in line with God's values - not the worlds.
As Christians, it is just as easy for us to fall into the trap of success and achievement. In some ways, the church lives in constant danger of conforming TOO much to the world in order to be socially relevant. It's a fine line. After all, we have to live IN the world don't we? Therefore we need to conform to some things don't we?
Food for thought.
God values generosity - the world values selfishness.
God values kindness - the world values self-centredness.
God wants us to live humbly - the world want us to live extravagantly.
God values the poor - the world values the rich.
God values spiritual depth - the world values the superficial and materialistic.
God values character - the world values success.
In our competitive culture where we are obsessed with achievement it's easy to just go with the flow. I know that I need a constant reminder that the task of building character in my four children is more important than academic success.
Each day I want to ask: What have I done today to help build my child's character?