It’s been a popular read; the book ’21 lessons for the 21st century’. The author is Professor Yuval Noah Harari. Professor Harari is an Israeli historian and author of a few other good books, including “Sapiens” a 2014 book that still has a 20 week wait at my library.
I think it’s always good to get an “outside the US” perspective. The world is a large place and it’s amazing what we blindly accept from our culture as concrete. That outside perspective is crucial to American parents thinking about which private pre-school we can get into, what photo package we need to buy for the third time this year, and how our car compares within the daycare parking lot.
Over the next 5 to 7 days I want to take some of the lessons that he believes are critical to this era. Because my belief is that we have the opportunity to change the culture (for the better), through our children, well that means we need to get educated on what culture we want to create. This series hopes to do that. So join with me over the next few days, share with an intellectual parent or two and see what Yuval has to say.
His first lesson, chapter one, I normally would skip over.
How can the chapter one title “Disillusionment” really relate to parenting? But my belief is that authors put their good stuff first – you have to grab attention. And he must be making a statement here with it.
In this first chapter, Harari makes the point that “humans think in stories rather than facts, numbers, or equations.”
And this is actually a central truth that is important to understand.
Back in episode 89 we talked about how Intuit cultures never scolded – but instead told a story about a kid who didn’t obey, got too close to the water and got sucked up into the belly of a sea monster. I tried something similar out with my kids and told a simple, very inaccurate story of a tummy monster and my kids tell me about it often! Stories are powerful. Use them to your advantage – especially in parenting, but also in getting ahead at work – Use stories instead of yelling at your kids. Let’s say you disapprove of their slow eating. You can do something like leaning over to your husband/wife and telling him/her about a 5 year old you heard of who ate his breakfast so slow that he missed first recess because they didn’t make it to school on time. … Then you just let that sink in to your kid.