Communities, Education, Happiness and Jobs

A job is something that is offered by an employer to applicants with the appropriate skills. That is the simplest equation that describes finding and landing onto a job. But we now have a highly-competitive job market that people with skills beyond the minimum requirements are the first to get employed. Unemployment rates soar especially in the third world.

So how does the average citizen contend with such a situation?

Do you notice how kids are already in a rat race? There used to be a time when grade school studies were practically “child’s play”. Kids were then not pressured to read about and learn lessons that seem like doctoral studies. They were simple arithmetic exercises that were fun to solve. Humanities subjects used to be choral singing or oral reading of stories that sent kids to fairyland. Past generations were learning in happy environments.

Nowadays, kids are burdened with thick textbooks even at the tender age of nine. The serious ones spend more time on books, computers and online research as if they were already on an employment. They smile less and tend to be nervous most of the time. Many of them develop stress-related ailments, such as asthma, which seldom affected kids from previous generations. You see kids fidgeting just before periodic long exams and they act like job applicants queuing for interview with the big boss. It is such a sad and worrisome sight.

With what we see in our kids today, we cannot help but wonder how their kids will look like when it is their turn for the preparation for that almighty job. And how will our children cope with their parenting given the hectic and almost-always-nervous foundation they built in preparation for the race toward getting their own jobs? The spouses may not be much help as surely, they will have undergone the same high-pressure rigid training.

There is a movement in certain sectors in the general direction of keeping happy environments in schools, the workplace and the community in general. But there are very few of these educators, psychologists and sociologists preaching working “smart”, not hard, in the workplace. In school, they do it by incorporating right-brain activities into the curriculum and providing less formal and rigid learning environments. Communities benefit from cleanliness and environment-consciousness which include creating green and happy environments.

The problem about these “new” environments is that they are very expensive since they require particular infrastructure and tools to get implemented. It would be ideal if governments will subsidise a substantial part if not all of these costs. After all, their children, grandchildren and they themselves will potentially benefit from such development.