The tragedy of parenting

What is the predictor of success in life? Is it nurture or nature? I learned a lot from my late grandpa, who I lived

What is the predictor of success in life? Is it nurture or nature?

I learned a lot from my late grandpa, who I lived with a big part of my early life. He told me many profound insights. He used to say, “education does not help the lazy.”
Now I know that this meant more work is after getting that degree! He was right. To get ahead, one must put in the extra effort. Have an ambition. Wake up early. Work hard by always going the extra mile. A genius may need just one hour to cover what an average student covers in a week. The equalizer is that both of these students must open the book and read. The genius person is lucky that they can achieve more in less time. To win in life, the parents of the genius child must inculcate in them the essence of showing up early and doing something.

What values did your parents emphasize to you?

Your genetic dispositions may not guarantee your success. It does not. Each one of us has some money in the bank account in the form of a body, IQ and a heart. This is nature. Some have a better body, IQ and a heart than others. We see these as winners of races, Maths wizards and kids who top classes at an early age and the compassion others have by sharing their little packed meals (grab) with the less privileged souls.

However, there is no world-class runner who does not practice. No genius who does not undertake self-study to review works of others as well as document their own. And no Noble Prize winner just sits and waits for the award. The key differentiator is hard work. What varies is the effort. Effort – is what makes the difference. And it is a result of nurture. Not nature.

Take the case of a child born in a privileged family. If they are not taught the essence of hard work at an early age. To wake up early. To make their own beds. To put in the effort. They may not live a good life after their parents’ inability to provide. Cases of children who have squandered the family wealth immediately the death of their parents abound. Unless such parents provided for financial managers who provide a monthly stipend to their children for their lifetime. But such parents are rare.

Education is the only gift you can give your children. The school provides 20%. Parents and the community provide 80%. The challenge for us all is how to do it.

To be continued…

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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