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How wonderful life would be 0

Dear Bradshaw,

During my lesson with eight-year old Lorenzo, he complained that life was a bummer because you had to go to school and study, and then when you graduated you had to get a job and work for the rest of your life.

True enough, but feeling it my adult duty to convince him otherwise (and knowing his parents were in the other room and, more than likely, listening), I said, “That’s a rather bleak way of looking at life. After all, without education there’d be no progress, no intellectual and creative evolution, which would mean no video games, no bicycles, no basketballs. So instead of spending your free time playing sports, watching television, or playing games, you’d be breaking your back from dawn to dusk milking cows, feeding chickens, planting seeds, and picking apples. Work is enriching, especially if you find something you love to do, because then it isn’t really work, is it?”

“Fine,” Lorenzo said, slouching forward and resting his chin on the palm of his hand. “Everyone else can work, and I’ll just play and have fun.”

“That’s selfish,” I said, shaking my head. “Everyone else has to work but you, only you, can play all day every day? Who would you play with if all your friends were in school?”

“I’d wait until after school. Then they could play too.”

“What about when they grow up and get jobs and have families of their own and are no longer interested in soccer and video games? Meanwhile, neglecting your education when you’re young means growing up to be jobless and, therefore, homeless.”

“Okay,” Lorenzo said, making a fist now and leaning his temple against his knuckles, “then I wish I’d been born into a rich family so I could live off the inheritance.”

I had to admit. This kid had his bases covered. But I refused to surrender. “The only reason you enjoy playing so much is because you have to go to school and do homework. If you did nothing but play every day, you’d get bored of it.”

He stared at me with narrowed eyes and pursed lips. Then he rubbed a hand over his brow and leaned back, crossing his arms. “I wouldn’t get bored.”

“You really think so?”

“I have a lot of video games.”

Well, Shaw, I did my best, didn’t I? Fact is Lorenzo had a point. How wonderful life would be if we could mold it to our own taste? What if there were no sickness, no poverty, no racism, no tyranny, no war, no death, and no problems anywhere for anyone? Wouldn’t that be dandy? One should at least be allowed to dream about it, right? So from now on I’ll let Lorenzo dream and, well, what the heck, I’ll dream too.

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