Today is Sunday. Tonight, three-quarters of the world’s working population will fall asleep feeling some level of the Sunday Blues.
If we didn’t spend so much of a child’s first 18 years making sure they’re proficient in everything we’ve decided they’ll need in life, how different could that statistic be?
Kids have interests, passions, hopes and dreams…and if we listen in we’ll realise they’re actually pretty serious about exploring them. But when the good-grade pressure kicks in the dreams often gather dust, and by then someone else will have started shaping new ones for them anyway. Usually, dreams that are more ‘practical’ and ‘sensible’. We don’t even know it’s happening until we look back later in life, reminiscing with ourselves about the things we really wanted to spend our time doing.
“If only someone had seen the musical spark in me that was waiting to ignite…I spent so much time trying to keep my head above water in subjects I wasn’t any good at, hating the pressure and feeling like a failure…how different life could have been…”
Would we still say things like “You can’t make a living from doodling away with that pencil for hours, young man!” if our education system put art on the same level as math and literacy?
Anything outside the core academic subjects gets far less time, focus, money and respect, so naturally the ways we head off to make money are heavily weighted away from the creative. Really, it’s not at all surprising that the world isn’t enjoying the work of more thriving, fulfilled makers and creators. It’s not that you can’t make a living that way, it’s that we’re not giving young people the opportunity to.
The default schedule, subjects, and career options are set, and they have resulted in most people accepting that Mondays suck.
The solution to fixing our Sunday Blues epidemic is quite simple: provide the space for young people to discover and fine-tune intersections between things they love, things they’re good at, and ways they can use them to make the sort of living they want.
Three. Quarters. We need to flip that statistic on its head.