(First written 8/11/06)
Being aware of how little maintenance we have in our lives made me think about how slowly its burden awakens in kids. When a kid gets a new toys or stuff, s/he tend to think it’s always going to stay in its new, pristine, condition and then is disappointed when it break or loose its luster. For the most part, at that point the item goes in the trash bin. Except for favorite shirts, shoes, etc., which improve with age until they’re rags or outgrown. Same thing with a new first house or car. Young or first-time buyers rarely plan how they’re going to pay for maintenance and repair – such demands appear after-the-fact as unpleasant surprises.
Why don’t schools teach, beginning at a young age and continuing into high school, formal life skills? About money, where it comes from, credit, debt, and saving. About maintenance, its burden of prevention, routine care, and the drain of deferred cost. That the more you have, the more you’ll be buried in maintenance. About human relations, conflict, cooperation, individual differences, and social responsibility. About health, nutrition, attitude, and fitness. About family life, child care, stress, and aging.