Musings on life, the universe and an elephant named Flobo

For many, one of the first “important” questions we are asked as kids is, “so, what would you like to be when you are older?” It is a question fraught with uncertainly and apprehension although to our small, child minds, we do not know what those words mean and we search our brains and our hearts to pluck a wish for the future and hopefully blow it towards fulfillment.

When I was young, I wanted to be an author and since I was obsessed with books (still am) and knew all about starving artists, I figured I could pay my way as a librarian. I also wanted to be a pilot or at least have the ability to fly and… own an elephant and tiger cub (thanks Aladdin for that one…) which would of course be the best of friends and live in my castle. So, as a kid I certainly didn’t want much…

I was lucky enough to have a chance to write and have pursued that dream as more of a hobby. I know others who have wanted to be pilots or teachers who have gone on to do exactly that.

These days, when kids are asked what they want to do, I find it difficult to hide my facial expression. Jobs of the future will largely be in fields that we haven’t thought of as yet. Think about it for a moment. How many of our grandparents would have thought mobile phone technicians would be a job that was available within their lifespan?

65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist (McLeod, Scott and Karl Fisch, “Shift Happens”, so how is it that kids are supposed to answer the question and how are we as adults to know how to provide them with the tools for the future?

The world continues to evolve, and assuming that someone doesn’t get trigger happy and start WW3, the world will be a very different place in the next decades. Perhaps the key things we should teach the next generation are imagination and adaptability?

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