The Hunger Games – allegory — p. 3

By | January 23, 2014 | 0 Comments
Real Life Skills or Career Learning?
This is the third post in my series about lessons we can learn from Hunger Games.  Stay tuned for more posts.  The next one is : 4) the separation within and between regions, cultures and communities
Of course, we are cheering for Katniss to win the competition and her potential is telegraphed early on.  To me, one of the most rewarding aspects of her victory is that she learned her skills and wile in the school of hard knocks, as opposed to the “career” tributes who have been trained to compete in the Hunger Games.  I think the ability to learn life skills as a matter of living rather than as lessons or experiences bought is important.  Likewise, I think the ability to enjoy and embrace the work that is self-sufficiency is key.  I think early steps to learning this is simple work around the house.  I don’t think we can underestimate what we learn through mundane work. [1]  1104deer1_t300
   This was underscored for me recently during the very small snow storm in DC.  A friend posted to Facebook and was looking for someone to shovel a path to her door and to dig her car out.  I suggested that she set her daughters to do it.  She told me that her daughters were spoiled (but sweet) and did not do work.  I maintain, that if you set two kids outside with a challenge (and promise of hot cocoa) that they would not see the effort as work, but as a physical challenge.  My father used to pull my toe to get me out of bed to help with shoveling the driveway on snow days in northern PA, where I grew up.  To this day, I truly enjoy shoveling snow.  I generally do it for our own house and our neighbors in the row where we live.   Recently I have even volunteer’s for our city’s snow deployment team — where I am assigned a house to shovel out.  I am sure that I have that perspective because I was engaged in this work from an early age.  To me, for a kid, digging a car out of two inches of snow is not work, it is project management and problem solving and developing a strong sense of self. It is an early introduction to the satisfaction of hard work.

[1] See Leornard Sax’s book Boy’s Adrift where he discusses boy’s lack of engagement in school is because they are so disconnected from nature and the hands on mechanics of how the physical world works, so they are less interested in learning about it in school when they can’t apply it to anything in their world.

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