We’re going to start off with a little riddle:
A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exclaims ‘I can’t operate on this boy!’
‘Why not?’ the nurse asks.
‘Because he’s my son,’ the doctor responds.
How is this possible?
An old one, for sure. Do you remember the first time you heard it? I do! I was still a kid. Of course the answer is “The doctor is the boy’s mother.” Duh. And I remember saying: “Oh duh! (probably with a forehead-to-the-hand smack)” but I totally didn’t get the answer. It was, indeed, a riddle. You could blame this on my upbringing, except I was raised by incredible, feminist parents that instilled very young that I could do anything I wanted to do even though I was a girl. So, I’m blaming society as a whole. We knew women could be doctors. We even knew some female docs, but they were usually male.
This week, I told this riddle to my children.
Without a beat, Penny said: “And the doctor isn’t the boy’s mom?” as if that answer was too obvious, it couldn’t possibly be the answer. It wasn’t a riddle! Of course women are doctors!
The Future is Bright
“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way…” I’ll stop singing (though come back Monday and you *just might* hear a soundbite of my singing!). But, in reality, I feel like the world is getting so dark, but then I see the children…
The world gets smaller every year and my children now have cousins that are Latino, cousins that are Muslim, and friends from many backgrounds very different than their own. I’m not saying racism won’t be taught to some kids, but with the world getting smaller, the “unknown” aspect gets diminished.
Kids all over the world are doing amazing, important things. If this video doesn’t give you hope (it’s possible I may have shed a tear… ), I don’t know what will! Seriously worth 5 minutes of your time today.
The intelligence of the next generation is barely tapped! Their magic and potential is going to explode and change the world!
Just this month, kids in Australia remade a $750 malaria drug for only $2! (Maybe there’s only hope coming out of Australia!) Of course, instead of being all excited about the potential for the future, pharma grown-ups had to tear them down on social media before being able to congratulate them.
We, adults, have a lot to learn from our children.
There’s Still Work To Be Done
Last month, I read a study that has haunted me all month. There’s a gene that is associated with higher education attainment and higher wages… so, basically a “high potential” gene. Now, they tracked the gene in a large group of people to see if the results held up. These “genetic endowments” that predicted educational attainment were also predictors of employment, a longer work life, earnings, and wealth. There was a group of people, however, that did not see these effects with these “genetic endowments”: The poor. The kids that couldn’t go to college because of a lack of funds didn’t see any of the other benefits of having the “high potential genes.” The study abstract concluded: “The finding that childhood poverty limits the educational attainment of high-ability individuals suggests the existence of unrealized human potential.”
Because some people win the birth lottery, they have the ability to reach their full potential. Others do not.
The minds that could cure cancer, solve global warming, and end poverty might be stuck in poverty themselves and the world will miss out because of that.
Northern Expenditure is primarily a personal finance blog. If I didn’t take the time to highlight the fact that money makes things icky and unfair a lot of the time, I wouldn’t be doing my job. I do not have a cure for cancer in me. My mind doesn’t work that way. I don’t know how to solve large-scale problems. So it’s not fair that I was given the ability to succeed when others were not.
The future is, indeed, very bright. But it could be brighter. What can we do to make it that way?