Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Good Life ~ Question #2

Thanks, those of you who weighed in on the first question: “What is ‘the good life’?”

And now for the second question (which is obviously many questions in one):

When discussing and planning for life past high school (college, career, and beyond), do you talk with your kids about what ‘the good life’ is, and what it might look like for them (what they want out of life), and how they might best seek it or prepare for it? And, conversely, what might hinder them from living ‘the good life’? Does this figure at all into your discussions about college? Is college a necessary step to ‘the good life’? Is the point of college to have a career that will allow one to live ‘the good life’? Is a well-paying career a guarantee (a strong indicator? a helpful push in the right direction?) of ‘the good life’?


The Prudent Homemaker said...

We just had a discussion about culinary school instead of or in addition to college just this week with my 10-year-old, and the importance of being able to support a family.

I have no idea where he'll end up, but we know that there are other roles as well. We also spoke about the different positions in a professional kitchen, the cost of culinary school versus college, and working one's way up in a kitchen.

Erin said...

In our chats with our children about the good life (we have 4 teens and youngers already) we talk about following God's plan for them. God has a blueprint and if we follow His blueprint our lives would be far happier. Sadly God doesn't text us;) so we have to listen to Him, pray and follow what He wants. This may mean college (2 are already there)or it may not. It is all about walking with Him, praying, listening and following.

Rebecca said...

As my answer to question #1 indicated- anyone is capable of living 'the good life' regardless of salary because it is a perspective on life, not a position in life.

There have been plenty of doctor and lawyer malcontents and plenty of by-government-standards poor families filled with joy to prove my case there.

So no- I don't think college is a necessary step to reaching that goal. In fact, college is becoming an increasingly LESS reliable way to get into a career. I can't help but think of higher education being a bubble that seems about to pop. (But that is a different topic altogether...) College can be great (and necessary) for certain careers but I think that the value our society puts on college these days is a farce. College is not the only way to become a success.

Having money, while not necessary to 'the good life', certainly helps life run more smoothly. So we must teach our children to be motivated, hard-working, innovative and bold. We must teach our children to love learning and by doing so, they will NEVER STOP. These things make for a successful businessman, entrepreneur and valuable employee.

On the flip side- we must also teach them to be good stewards of their money so that if they don't make triple digits, they will still be able to accomplish much. We must teach them to live within their means and to avoid debt and to live frugally. As a stay-at-home mother of four with a husband who has a modest income, I am a firm believer that earning money is only half the battle- the other half is keeping it around once you have it!

Talks about 'the good life' are important, but I think more importantly is the way that we as parents live out the good life. All these lessons are things that should surround our children like the air they breathe, every day of their lives.

And THAT is my book response to your questions. That isn't my 2cents- it's more like my 2millioncents. ;-)

Gwen said...

Ha! Well I am not qualified to answer this question in relation to children. I have a two and a half year old and read your blog for homeschooling inspiration. HOWEVER, I myself faced this dilemma not too long ago (I am 27 years old). I can say that what I am doing now and what my husband is doing now are not what we expected to do when we went to college. I don't know that we are living our version of the good life right now (still both students - him in a PhD program and myself as a second degree nursing student). But, going to college and participating in all of the extras that come with college (working part time with professors on their research, study abroads, volunteering in the community, meeting other students who share our interests) helped us both identify areas that we were passionate about that we didn't realize interested us before college. College helps you get a job that makes money, of course. But I think that it also opens your mind to new people, new ways of thinking, new disciplines that you didn't get in high school/homeschool, new activities, etc. My family has invested a lot of time and money in higher education, but I wouldn't trade those experiences, relationships, mind-opening discussions for heading out into the workplace a few years earlier. In other words, college helped me see what the good life could look like for me and gave me the tools to pursue it.