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Hard Candy

Hard Candy

Image Credit: Doctors Without Borders

As we watch the world’s aging population, we might be missing what’s happening with our youth today. We put so much emphasis on childlike activities for adults (like the gaming industry, NASCAR, and treasure hunting) that we forget to notice how grown-up our kids are capable of being.

In India, as young as four years old they are doing everything from hard labor to running the family business. But you don’t have to feel sorry for all of them – read these accounts of amazing things some of today’s children are accomplishing. A seven year old child started a foundation dedicated to helping homeless and poor children; another started selling greeting cards at the age of nine, a business which net over $15,000 per day by the time he was twelve.

Meanwhile, amongst very serious talk about the intentional dumbing down of America, education is becoming even more accessible through virtual classrooms. Although children can learn in more tailored ways, it also raises concerns. Is the curriculum high quality? Will these children be too socially isolated? What about identifying and helping children with special needs, such as those suspected of having ADD or Autism?

The question is, how do we strike a balance of nurturing their gifts and strengths without exploiting or damaging our youth? Entrepreneurship is strongly encouraged today so it’s no surprise we see more and more children who embrace that ethic. But will these little go-getters improve our future or will we see more adults acting out the childhood they missed by becoming video game testers? I’ll let you be the judge.

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