The Change of a Lifetime

A couple days ago we looked at the concept that ideas need “time” (so hit the showers). Yesterday we looked at the history of coffee and it’s impact on the world. Our focus was not on the drink itself but that it created a “space” where ideas began to germinate and take root. So ideas and innovation need time, they need space, and they need . . . courage.

With the advancements in medicine we have seen over the last 50-75 years a “lifetime” for most of us will be somewhere around 70-80 years. In today’s world it is possible for people to live to 100 years of age and so you could say ( and I will for this blog) that a “lifetime” is now around 100 years.

I mention this idea because it is the year 2017 and there are people all over the world that were born in 1917 and they have seen dramatic and incomprehensible changes during their lifetime. Here are some eye-opening statements about life in 1917:

  • The world literacy rate was only 23% (today it is about 86%)
  • The average life expectancy for men was 47 years
  • It took 5 days to get from London to New York (today it takes 8 hours)
  • Only 8% of homes had a telephone (today 80% of Americans have smartphones)
  • More than 95% of all births took place at home
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month
  • The leading cause of death was pneumonia
  • Ninety percent of all medical doctors had no college education
  • Fuel for cars was sold only in drug stores (in America)
  • Crossword puzzles had not been invented yet
  • Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school

It is amazing how much has changed and how far we have come in just one “lifetime.” But here is the ironic thing, for the most part, the system and the way that we do education has not changed that much since 1917. Way more people are going to school and earning diplomas and degrees but the overall system is still quite similar to the industrial model designed during and for the industrial age. Did you know that 65% of grade school students today will be in jobs that have yet to be “invented”?

The world is changing so quickly, and only recently has the field of education begun to realize the need for some dramatic changes, some new ideas on how we “do” education. The dramatic changes that need to happen are going to take. . . courage. We need to accept the fact that the way we were educated is not the best way to educate our children. . . . courage. We need to be willing to take risks and think outside the box we call school. . . courage. We need to be okay with the fact that we do not have all the answers to the questions of how. . . . courage. We need to be honest with our children but more importantly with ourselves. . . . courage. We need to blaze some trails that will be lined with critics along the way. . . courage. We need to be willing to do this because our children need us to. . . courage.

It is our responsibility and calling to help prepare the next generation as best we can for the life that they will face, not the life that we faced. . . courage.

Karl Steinkamp
iHOS Blog #6
Day 6 of 30


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