Friday, October 28, 2011

31 (More) Days of #BIF7 - Day 28 - Matthew Moniz

Matthew Moniz's story was probably the most heartwarming and life affirming of all the stories at BIF-7. An accomplished mountain climber at 13, Matthew described the major peaks and summits he's climbed, including Everest and 50 peaks in 50 states in 50 days. It was even more revealing when Matthew talked about one of his best friends with a medical condition and symptoms that ironically emulated the effects of high-altitude environments Matthew typically encounters while climbing.

Like everyone in the audience at BIF, I was pretty much blown away by Matthew. He was so focused, yet modest; engaged and driven to be great.

As the days passed and I reflected about Matthew and his story, I realized that one of the reasons his story stood out is he's exceptional, a true outlier, and I wondered why that is. Why aren't more kids like him?
  • Is it that schools educate for compliance and not creativity and innovation? It's noteworthy how much Matthew has learned outside of the traditional classroom.
  • Is it that many of Matthew's peers are now medicated, for ODD or other disorders?
  • Is it that media consumption -- encompassing television, computers, and cell phones -- helps pacify and subdue kids?
  • Is it consumerism, which weakens self-reliance and independent decision making?
I don't know, but as a parent, I'll continue to think about Matthew's story and possible reasons more kids aren't like him.

Additional information:

BIF Profile Page

This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.

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