We are introduced to the notion of a linear path as soon as we begin our journey through school. We follow a predetermined curriculum in a controlled environment, where everybody has access to the same resources and materials, follows the same preset assignments, and takes exams in a specific order, all with the goal of reaching a predetermined destination: education, career, promotion, marriage, kids, promotion, peak career, retirement.
We all know there's a dangerous toxicity to setting our kids up with the expectation that everything will fall into place if we study hard, get good grades, and follow the rules.
Very little in nature is linear. Rivers meander, trees branch out in a multitude of ways, and coastlines are full of bays, headlands, and covers. Mountains are shaped by the tectonic forces below them and their exposure to the elements. And the weather is chaotic and unpredictable, shaped by fluctuating pressure, temperatures, and wind.
Nature hates straight lines. So why do we insist on setting our kids up with a false template of regularity, synchronicity, and compliance when we know it's all bullsh*t?
Life's not a compounding game but a magnificent dance of chaos and serendipity, where the most incredible adventures unfold beyond the confines of straight lines, where each stepping stone may take us in a new direction of discovery, and where failure leads us to new insights and opportunities.
In the words of Lao Tzu, "Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."
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