Smart will make you rich and successful but Caring won't

Image Credit: Trent Fairbrother

By Christine Chia

When I taught at RI many years ago, I played a game with my form class students. I brought them to the grandstand as I knew it would get noisy and also to give them a break from the boxy classrooms. I gave them $1000 each in imaginary money and asked them to "bid" for the qualities they want in their friends in a mock "auction."

The qualities on offer, on white plastic boards, were "Smart", "Popular", "Caring", "Good-looking", "Sporty," "Funny" ; the boys got raucous and bids were flying high for "Smart," "Rich," "Popular" and "Funny". They were begging me for more money to up their bids but I said they only had $1000.

The boys started narrating what their imaginary friends with those imbued qualities could do for them and even started forming consortiums in the bidding process! Then it was time to end the game because they had another lesson to attend. before leaving, they asked me: "What was the point of the game, Mdm?"

"Boys, the bids for 'Caring' are the lowest, why do you think that's so?" Answers came rushing in, "Caring is so sissy," "Smart will make you rich and successful but Caring won't," etc. I replied: "If your friend doesn't care about you, he won't help you even if he's the smartest, richest, most popular guy in school."

This first appeared as a post on the Facebook wall of Miss Christine Chia. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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