I got my first pony when I was two and he was one. Daddy asked Benny Poole, a local blacksmith who once shoed horses for the New York City Police Department, how much longer he should wait before I began to ride the pony. Benny did not give a dissertation on the age that bones cease growing. Instead he said, "Which one the biggest, Steve or the pony? Less Steve is the biggest of the two go ahead and put him up there."
The following year I rode Tanka in the Christmas parade by myself.
How long should we wait before we begin to teach kids to seek wisdom? It's likely best to wait until after potty training. And I don't meant teaching manners. I don't mean teaching kids to be quiet.
I mean teaching kids to seek wisdom.
When one learns to become responsible one takes the first step toward seeking wisdom. When one learns that conformity comes at the highest of prices one takes another step toward seeking wisdom. When one learns to work and solve problems on one's own, whether it is learning to put on one's own boots or how to open a gate latch, one takes another step toward seeking wisdom. When one learns to begin to control one's fears instead of being controlled by one's fears, one takes another step toward seeking wisdom.
Some may think that wisdom can only come with years of age and experience. The unfortunate reality is that regardless of age or experience somehow wisdom never seems to catch up to most people. I want the kids in my program to know every mistake that I made and everything that I learned from those mistakes. I want to to know every success that I ever had, especially the ones that the rest of the world thought could never happen.
I want them to squeeze my life dry--and I want them to start doing that when the rest of the world thinks that they are too little to pay attention to.