So just like any other day I'm alive, I'm learning something. This particular lesson really stood out to me. We are fuckin our kids up from making good decisions in the future. Let me break this down for you.
I'm currently researching the science of decision making. Risk verses reward. Explore verses exploit. Some cool shit a mentor gave me to sharpen the saw with. Book is called "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions" by Brian Christian. It's my first audio book too. Interesting stuff. Here's something that stood out to me. It discussed an experiment they did with kids. They took a room full of kids and offered them the option of having 1 piece of candy right now, or 2 pieces of candy when the teacher left and came back. Some kids chose 1 piece of candy right now, others chose to have 2 pieces of candy later. That's not the part that's interesting. 2 big things came out of this experiment. They followed the kids who made either decision up until adulthood. The Result. The kids who waited to have the 2 pieces of candy later had an overall "better" life by any scale of "better" that one could measure with. Emotionally, financially, socially, etc. Very interesting correlation. It proved that they had more self control and were willing to invest in things of value. It followed them into adulthood. Very interesting stuff. But not the biggest lesson I pulled from it.
Here's the more valuable lesson I pulled from it. There are a lot of things that are taken into consideration when deciding to delay gratification while putting hope in someone else. How long will the teacher be gone? How sure are you that the teacher will come back? When they come back, will the deal still be valid? Do I even want the candy that's being offered? Here's the fun part. There's a great deal of trust that goes into this decision. And ruining that trust is very easy to do at such an early age. For instance, if your uncle told you he didn't smoke weed and you found his weed(Like I did), it would ruin your trust with him.(Like it did for me). If this continues to happen with other people, your ability to trust any person, especially adults, will go down. So if you show up to school during this experiment, and the adults around you don't live up to your expectations all the time, you are most likely going to take the 1 piece of candy. Why would you chance that? Is that the kid's fault? No. It's the fault of the adults around them. And with the correlation of being more successful supposedly linked self-control, adults are ruining a child's ability to invest in themselves properly on a regular basis. What's being perceived as self-control is actually the ability to be optimistic. We fail children as soon as we get a chance. We are ruining them.
I know what you're thinking, "Well your life didn't turn out so bad so what the fuck you talkin about Ren?" I'll tell you what the fuck I'm talking about reader. In my case, my momma NEVER lied to me about something that she was going to do or try to do. My Great Grandma also NEVER lied to me about something she was going to do. Or at least I've never caught them. They also didn't promise me the world. They told me that I could be anything, not that they would go get it for me. With that said, I had at least one person I could always invest in. They would always come back. They would always give me the 2 pieces of candy if I did what they said. But my question is, what about the people that didn't have that? They fucked up in the game.
What am I saying? Be that for all of the kids around you. You may be the only one that gives them the courage to invest in themselves and have self control. They need to be able to delay gratification in order to manipulate this world to become successful. Having a scarcity mentally doesn't produce wild fruits and vegetables. It produces vegetables in a box. That's my suggestion. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment here. Welcome to the Intelligence Corner.
These are the thoughts of a grown ass man from Houston, TX.