Pick Me Ups

A friendly picker upper for the perfect stranger.

Education and Creativity June 18, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 5:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Location: Coin drain


Dear Perfect Stranger,

I hope that you are doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a pick-me-up during your day.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about my views on education and creativity. I’m sure you can agree that children possess some pretty extraordinary capabilities. Some children that we see on TV or read about have extraordinary dedication and have found a talent. But really, all kids have exceptional talents. They’re just squandered and squished at a young age. Creativity is as important in our education system as is say, literacy. You see, kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll guess. Kids aren’t afraid of being wrong. Not that being wrong makes something creative, no. What I mean is that if you don’t accept that you might be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. By the time we become adults, we’ve lost the ability to try things out without worry. We end up becoming scared of being wrong. We run everything from education to governments to companies like this. Mistakes are stigmatized. Our current education systems run with the belief that mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The problem here is that we are teaching children to let go of their creative capacities. We’re allowing children to grow out of their creativity, their originality and innovation. What do you think?


Your friendly picker upper.


Gross National Happiness June 5, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 10:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

Location: Toronto Zoo


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

I was browsing the Toronto Star a couple of days ago and I came across a rather intriguing article about the small, secluded country of Bhutan and its education system. Seems to me they’ve got education right. A king of Bhutan in 1999 unveiled a plan, called the Four Pillars of Happiness, which promised to measure the small country’s GNH (gross national happiness). It placed emphasis on environmentalism, national culture, good governance and economic development.

Recently, the four pillars have been infused into Bhutan’s education systems. It’s being encouraged to bring gross national happiness into the curriculum including into courses like math and science. What is really created is more of a focus on community and well-being. The article tells of meditation being introduced for a few minutes at the beginning and end of each school day. Parents have been asked to stop driving their kids to school and the kids actually seem to like it. Also, to continue focusing on environmentalism, students have adopted streams and are involved in clean-ups every few weeks.

Seems to me like more of this small country, nestled between India and Nepal’s ideas need to be adopted in North America. Have a good day!


Your friendly picker upper 🙂