Speaking of skills… I was watching a tennis match of Serena, and the commentators were talking about a young lady that was new on the tennis scene. One female commentator said the oddest thing to me. She said that the girl had started playing tennis late. Seven years old is late for a kid that may seek to play tennis professionally. I can’t even remember what I was in to at seven.

This comment got me to thinking about the greats… Tiger Woods, Beyonce, Serena and Venus, Michael Jackson, Prince, just to name a few. They all started super young. It made me think that maybe we should rethink how young we start teaching our own kids a skill.
We should consider teaching our children a skill set super young. Not at three years old, but we should not be waiting until they are 16, or 17 either. By the time I was 12 years old, it was too late to change my mind about what I wanted to be.
A few years ago I sat in a workshop pertaining to criminal justice, and how to curve the behavior of our “At-risk youth.” Everything I was hearing sounded like diner plates crashing to the floor. These professionals were way off the mark. Finally, I raised my hand and stood up.

“If you really wish to curtail the bad behavior of juveniles, you need to come way down on your numbers. By the time I was 12, my mind was already made up. Probably at nine,” I told the crowd. Some gawked at me, but some of my fellow inmates began nodding their heads.

Going back to the initial thought, we need to teach our children a skill set that may capture their minds before the streets do. A skill they can use as adults to provide for themselves, and their families. On a very grass root level, we must rethink the way we educate our children! By 16 a child should ALREADY have a marketable skill. Simple and plain. Vocations should start in 6th grade at the latest.
By 12 years old, I had already made my mind up to be a Gangsta! A young lady starting tennis at seven years old is considered too late. Why not teach much earlier?
Black Lives Absolutely Matter, and this fight must be fought on multiple fronts. We have brothers and sisters in the streets. Brothers and sisters in courthouses, and board rooms. Teachers, and nurses… all great.
What I am saying is that the most basic front where normal people like you and I can help, is how we educate our children. Start teaching skill sets! Masonry, flooring, plumbing, computer refurbishing, computer programing, H-vac, welding, agriculture…
This whole track of sending our kids to school, then on to college, a good job, then retirement is so dated, we are grossly behind. F*** depending on good jobs. We need to build our own future with our own hands!
40 years ago China was a none factor. They shut out the world, and focused on manufacturing! Of course, I’m oversimplifying, but I have witnessed in my lifetime, China goes from a none factor to a world power. They shut the world out, and focused on themselves!
There’s no one answer or no single approach to the multi-layered problems we face as a people. I choose here to highlight a necessity to teach skill sets. Not just to our children… us men coming out of these prisons need to focus on learning how to build with our hands. We need to look at building the future we want.
We know how to get money. It’s time to teach our youth how to build with it.


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