Black Children Our Biggest Investment: 4 Things You Can Teach Them…
(ThyBlackMan.com) We all know the lyrics: “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” I think you know the rest, so I’ll stop singing now. In fact, I would argue that in a world of wealth building and “paper chasing,” our kids are our most important investment. Little lessons we choose to share or not share can make a huge difference in their lives over the next 50 years, as well as the lives of our grandkids.
So, I thought I would lay out four things that we might want to teach our kids as mantras for a better life. There’s nothing wrong with being a little redundant, even if it annoys them. That redundancy is what they’ll be thanking you for when they’re 40. I can say that these are the things I teach my own kids, and I just pray that they decide to listen.
1) Education, education, education: Most of you may know about my book, ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.’ The reason I made this the first book I wrote after finishing my Ph.D. was primarily because I saw the difference education made in my life. I didn’t like school when I was young, but when I saw what it could do for me, I became a fanatic. The payoff was greater than my wildest dreams, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
With the massive amount of effort and ability our kids put into learning the latest dances or playing sports, we should challenge them to become equally diligent about learning. It’s no fun to go through life incarcerated in the prison of ignorance.
2) Build wealth and save money: Getting a good job is nice, but that’s not the key to freedom. The key to liberation is actually building wealth in a way that makes your money work for you. At the very least, you can have financial security by engaging in consistent savings techniques, instead of taking your check to the mall as soon as it enters your hands. The best thing about money, however, is that it doesn’t just give you financial security. Consistent access to money also gives you emotional, social and psychological security. Money is power, and a lack of access to money can make you feel completely powerless.
3) Happiness and optimism: No matter how well off you are, none of it matters if you aren’t happy. Happiness starts inside, and it can usually be gained by having a consistent commitment to unapologetic optimism. Teach your kids to seek happiness but to always realize that the greatest part of that journey is inside their own minds. I suffered from depression as a teenager, and when I learned the value of optimism, my life was remarkably better.
4) Travel the world: I feel sorry for kids who know the ‘hood, live in the ‘hood and never leave the ‘hood. All they know is what they see around them, instantly eliminating millions of possibilities that could have led to a far more fulfilled life experience. If you can expose your kids to other ways of life, go for it. Force them to get a passport at the age of 18. Take them out of the country yourself if you can. You’ll find that these little decisions will make all the difference when they are older.