find a parent that doesn’t want their child to prosper. We look at our children with hope and are keen on recognizing the potential that they have. We are so hell-bent to making them succeed that we spend so much on making them book smart. If someone talked about street smart, we frown.
But the evidence on the ground is overwhelmingly tilting towards a society that would prefer street smart people than book smart ones. Let me say it again: It is important that we have both, but as you can imagine, not everyone has the access, resources, and the will to be book smart.
Life has to be lived and that calls for street smart people. I know book smart sounds swankier as compared to street smart. People actually wrongly think that a street smart person is a hustler who can’t read but is like a ravenous wolf who will pounce on anything that is thrown at them.
Nothing can be further from the truth. A street smart person has mastered the art of anticipating and delivering value with an exemplary touch of care and compassion. They go out of their way to identify their audience, hustle for them, and do the “dirty work” in order to serve them. That’s what being street smart is.
Fortunately enough, the street smart person can be found in just about any nook and cranny of this world. You can be book smart and also street smart, but evidence shows that there are very many book smart people who are not street smart. Also, you will realize that for people who are street smart but not book smart, there is much more hope for them than those how are just book smart.
Let’s remind ourselves a little here. A book smart person in my definition is a typical person that has gone all the way through the schooling system and has acquired several accolades and qualifications in one discipline or another. They have actually excelled. Notice that the fraction of those is fewer as compared to the general population.
Ideally, we all ought to be book smart, but as already mentioned, there are several impediments to this including capacity, disposition, resources, and all. To be street smart therefore would be the most plausible thing to do, and therefore it is important that children are raised with that in mind.
In order to raise street smart children the following aspects of life need to be emphasized:
Peter J. Daniels was not book smart. In fact, his teachers told him that he would never amount to anything. They put him in a special class called the mentally retarded and uneducable. He hated school. At the age of 26, his greatest goal was to be a championship boxer. At that time, he was only a bricklayer.
Then a preacher comes to town (Billy Graham) and says that God made everyone equal. A bulb goes off in Peter’s mind, he has a revelation. He realizes that he can be as good as just about any other human being. Immediately, he sets himself up and builds himself to be street smart.
How? Through reading. He educated himself. He started by purchasing three dictionaries that he studied diligently. He taught himself English, Mathematics, Economics, and Commerce. He read thousands upon thousands of Biographies.
He says that he realized that the mind is a powerful tool that can be stretched. Like a muscle, it can be stretched. That is how Peter J. Daniels learned how to be street smart. With that motivation and knowledge, Peter attempted to build a business three times and failed each time. Finally, he succeeded and became a Billionaire who has consulted with Presidents around the world.
He has become an honorary ambassador to some countries and has built business courses unlike any other in the world. How did he do all that? Book smart or street smart? He was more street smart than he was book smart.
People wrongly think that a street smart person does not read. That would be wrong. A street smart person is a ravenous wolf for knowledge. Knowledge about people, business, trends, technology, history and self-help. One unfortunate thing about book smart people is a phenomenon called “Academic Fires”. This is where they burn up their books after achieving an academic level.
A street smart person realizes how important information and knowledge is. That is why they will surround themselves with people that are better than them so that they can learn and improve. They will read chunks upon chunks of information about their craft daily. They will attend seminars and so on and so forth.
If we are to raise street smart children, this pillar is of atomic importance. It is very powerful to teach them to learn how to learn, to learn how to gather information, and interpret that information. That tells you that reading, arithmetic, and writing are important start-up skills for children that are to be street smart.
That goes without saying. Therefore, let us create the hunger in them to learn and keep learning even when there is no examination, no tests, and no graduation.