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Mike Fleetham Mike's Thinking Classroom Blog


On Wealth

I once heard Annie Lennox (Eurythmics, charity and political activist) speak about success. She said she always wanted a fur coat. Really really wanted one. But once she hit the big time and the money began to roll in, the desire suddenly left her: because she could have anything she wanted, she no longer wanted the one thing she aspired to have.

I now how she feels. But that's nothing to do with money. It's Spotify. OK, so I've held out on my premium membership for longer than most, but now I've got it, now I can listen instantly to almost every commercially available track on the planet, I no longer want the CDs and downloads I previously lusted after and saved up for.

That's odd. I'm musically wealthy now. Surely this is a musical trolley dash? A tune-grab; a song-fest? No, what seems to have happened is that because I can listen to anything, anywhere, anytime, I'm becoming more discerning about what I actually do listen to. And there are hidden thinking skills at work here too: with all that content available, and limited years to listen to it, what should I choose? What criteria will I bring to bear on my listening decisions? 

Increasingly for our children, more content will be more readily available. We must, as a priority, teach them the skills of information literacy, time management, effective decision making and self-control. We must show them what wealth can mean and how to manage it. As well as exposing them to the best tracks from several decades before they were born.

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