Volume 32, Number 4

The Puzzle

People who’ve finished raising their kids are really good at giving advice on how to do it. It is important not to keep telling kids what to do is one of the things they say. They say the earth will be a radically different place fifty years from now. Now I’m trying to keep my mouth shut as my son struggles with his Rubik’s Cube. Rubik’s Cube was invented by a Hungarian mathematician who took over a month to solve his own creation. Creation tends to be more time-consuming than destruction. Destruction of the ozone layer was something everyone was talking about when I was a kid. A kid needs to learn why something should be done and that’s why it’s important not to keep telling them what to do. To do nothing is sometimes wise. Wise man and wise guy have radically different meanings. Meanings change over time while the words themselves stay the same. The same thing goes for excessively praising your child. Your child will do just fine without you. You’ll figure it out.

—Ian Willey