What I wish for all students is some release from the grim grip of the future.
I wish them a chance to enjoy each segment of their education as an experience in itself and not as a tiresome requirement in preparation for the next step.
I wish them the right to experiment, to trip and fall, to learn that defeat is as educational as victory and is not the end of the world.
Even if you feel you have little knowledge of nature at your disposal, there is still much you can do for your child. Wherever you are and whatever your resources, you can still look up at the sky — its dawn and evening beauties, its moving clouds, its stars by night.
You can listen to the wind, whether it blows with majestic voice through a forest or sings a
many-voiced chorus around the corners of your apartment building, and in the listening,
you can gain magical release for your thoughts.
My wish, of course, is naive. One of the few rights that America does not proclaim is the right to fail. Achievement is the national god, worshipped in our media — the million-dollar athlete, the wealthy executive — and glorified in our praise of possessions. In the presence of such a potent state religion, the young are growing up old.
Overseas a power failure at a cryo-prison in Alabama during the holiday weekend saw 50,000 inmates thawed prematurely, and in Bangladesh monsoon floods have wiped out hundreds of villages. Some things don't change.