All those years in secondary school, all those complex and complicated mathematics problems we were taught, the physics and chemistry (especially for those that didn’t go on to specialise), all those novels we were compelled to read and summarise…
Are we making use of them now, in our works, our respective disciplines, our lives?
Contrary to (perhaps) popular opinion, I think we have been, and are still making use of them. You doubt it? Let me convince you.
As I said in my birthday post last year, we often judge progress, assess development, and measure success, by the wrong parameters: the wedding instead of the marriage, the end instead of the means, the conclusion instead of the story, the destination instead of the journey.
Learning is a process; and it is that process that matters even more than results.
The complexities and complications enshrined in those difficult analytical (maths, physics, chemistry, accounting) problems required us to deeply understand what was involved, and break them down to simpler bits, in order to figure out the answer. That process of thinking and brain-storming, even while we might not have often gotten the answers, was a major component of mental development (you may see now why workings were awarded more marks than final answers).
That process widened our mental horizon, which enabled us to be able to understand more complex concepts, in higher classes and schools.
Besides academics, it honed our ability to critically analyse life situations, break them down, and find solutions.
What about those novels, comprehension passages, summarisations?
The process of reading a whole volume, and summarising it in two, three pages, formed and sharpened our ability to identify key points amidst verbosity, streamline our thoughts and express intended meaning appropriately.
So, see, doing that homework, assignment for your child, sibling, relative, friend, is not you helping them after all. You are actually depriving them of that opportunity for mental development, which they need in order to navigate the hurdles and situations of life. Rather, guide them to the right line of thought. They have to think, else they won’t grow.