Are You Smarter Than A FIRST Grader?

My debut year at Holly Hill Elementary in the late 60s was highlighted with my first spelling of a three-syllable word: barbecue. It was a feat, because, as I told anyone who’d listen at the time, “Most people spell it BBQ!”

My phenomenal grasp of words aside, there’s another memory that registers stronger from those early chalkboard days (and, it surfaced while writing my forthcoming book). “Students,” Miss Harris announced, “I want each of you to draw a picture of what you dream of becoming as an adult.” Her inclusion of “dream” was significant, since, to me, it meant that the possibilities were limitless. Fat Crayolas in hand, we created colorful, artistic renderings of our futures: nurse, fireman, mechanic, teacher and other heart’s desires (to find out what I drew, you’ll have to wait for the book). For, in first grade, we knew that whatever we wanted to be – or do with our life – was attainable! Anyone else have this assignment?

Then, we grow up. And, while many do a respectful job of sticking to our youthful ambitions, some folks are thrown off course. Filters and fears infultrate our lives and deflate our dreams. And, we buy into it! I’ve heard more than one of my intuitive consultation clients utter comments like, “I wasn’t meant to have the kind of career that I wanted” or “Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to visit France, but I’ll never find the time now.” Says who? Not the Universe! Not the six-year-old kid from elementary school! Despite our diplomas and degrees, young people have an edge over adults when it comes to intelligence. They’re smart enough to see a world full of opportunities and one that’s ripe for self-expression and growth.

Before graduating to second grade, I tackled my first four-syllable word: Geography. But, I had a technique, (perhaps, more complex than learning to spell the word itself), which involved taking the first letter of each word of the following sentence: George eats old gray rats and paints houses yellow. Geography!

So, learn from children’s creative and visionary skills. And, while you’re at it, reconnect with the child still residing in your own soul. The one who isn’t afraid to spell out what you want in life!

Love and light,






10 thoughts on “Are You Smarter Than A FIRST Grader?

  1. Mike

    You cannot leave us hanging like that. 😉 (What does a crayon drawing of a game show contestant look like?) I agree about kids and filters. It’s not quite the same thing, but I wish I had some of that child fearlessness back so that I could actually enjoy skiing. Fun fact: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a crosswalk painter. My filterless reasoning? Because I would never be hit by a car.

    Good seeing you last night!

  2. Rosemary Carter

    Wonderful memories….inspirational message. Thanks for reminding us
    that we can continue to make dreams come true, regardless of age or circumstance. I always wanted to travel, but for various reasons, did not take my first trip
    abroad until my mid-50’s. I have now been to six continents and15 countries. I hope to add many more in this lifetime.

    1. Tony Post author

      Wow! I would love to hear more about your trips! Good for you! And, I loved how you said you want to add many more “in this lifetime.” Made me yearn to return to Easter Island (as I know I was there in a previous lifetime).

  3. Kenny

    I love it! Never lose touch with your internal child. And don’t use words like “can’t” or “stuck” or “never.” You’re as stuck as you decide to be! Thanks for sharing Tony. -Kenny

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