Thanks to the historically unprecedented peace and prosperity in the West since World War II, my life has been blissfully uneventful . Any hardships that I have endured pale in comparison with those of my parents.
My father was a natural scholar, who was pulled out of school at age 14 by my grandmother, on the grounds that 'education would not do him any good'. My mother, raised in Nazi Germany, lost any chance of further education because of the war.
While raising my brother and me, they encouraged us to do our best, and to take advantage of the excellent (at that time) British education system. In doing so, however, they allowed us to find our own paths, and for that I am grateful.
Why do I make these comments?
It is my opinion that, even if we survive the current economic mess, there are cultural movements that threaten to cement in place a caste system worse than the old class system.
On one hand, we have the 'education experts', who have so meddled with schools on the grounds of inclusiveness and diversity, that the education system now produces people qualified on paper, yet unable to do anything useful.
In the US, we have religious extremists on the right trying to kill public education for many reasons, and attacking science and its funding at every turn. In the UK, students now have to pay tuition, leaving them deeply in debt, just like in the US.
We also have a relatively new phenomenon, the 'helicopter Mom' of the middle class, who micro-manage every aspect of their childrens' lives. I have interviewed students for a select medical school program. Full 3/4 are of Indian descent, with both parents in the medical field. They have been groomed from birth to do just the right things to follow their parents.
Just how free will the next generation be?