Sunday, August 20, 2006

Blandly Adult

Children without the benefit of a college education and real life experience say the smartest, wackiest things, come up with clever ideas for projects and create beautiful works of art.Yet with their first introduction into the "real" adult world, most of their faculties seem to suffer.

Teenspeak is hard to decipher, rarely does one see progression in levels of emotional intelligence that may be expected from their promising first grade levels. Overhearing a group of average teens in conversation is depressing for the appalling lack of substance - the personality of individuals seem to have gone through a blender to result in a collective bland pulp accoutered uniformly in Gap and Abercrombie. Not only do adults not reward non-conformance, they don't emphasize the great disservice teens do themselves by "fitting-in". It is mostly a combination of happenstance and individual strength of character that saves a young person from being swallowed by the tide of popular culture and the herd mentality that it promotes.

By when they have gone through college and entered the workforce they no longer have the power to rejuvenate and challenge the wisdom of the old way as a young workforce is expected to do. The output from a group of twenty some-things assigned an "mock" project in a team building exercise demonstrates how far they have retrogressed from their grade level ability to think outside the box. It would be educative to task a group of elementary schoolers with the same exercise and "relearn" from their example.

There are of course exceptional kids who do grow up to be thought leaders. If only every first grader that showed early promise for unconventional thinking or demonstrated some special talent could remain on course into adulthood. If only adults would allow them them blossom naturally.


SFGary said...

The ability to think outside the box is not a favored attribute in nine out of 10 companies (my estimate). We are brainwashed and "peer pressured" from a very early age to fit in. To unlearn all that conditioning is hard work and most take the easy path.

Heartcrossings said...

SFG - Watching Miss C interact with the kids at J's daycare makes me want to tell my boss's boss that he should toss out the Big 5 types he's paying $$$/hr and get her to fix what's broke :) I'm she'd throw in a few kid-consultants for free in the mix and that would do a world of good.