Growing up in Zahle, Lebanon, my sister and I went to Secondary Evangelical School (S.E.S), a private school, from Kindergarten to 11th grade.
I remember we had Music and Arts classes (color, draw, paint) for one hour each, each week up until fifth grade. I could still remember “do re mi fa so la ti do” echoing in my ears.
After fifth grade, Arts & Music were OFF the curriculum. So at 10 years old that was my last experience with Arts & Music.
Went through High School, College, studied Business, got my Accounting Degree, worked in an office environment and never really got to be creative.
My first experience with creativity and thinking outside the box was during my MBA program at CSULB. That was in 2014 at age of 24.
I don’t know how to explain it, but it was during my Evening Marketing class and we were starting a Marketing Simulation (PharmaSin)… I saw a lightbulb. I was so happy, I felt like a little kid full of excitement.
This numbers guy that have always excelled at Math, excelled in Accounting, just found something that made him rethink everything about his education.
An untapped part of my brain got tapped exactly at that moment. My whole education and years of experience flashed in my eyes; “I wish I knew this existed before, I wish I had started long time ago”.
After that night, I knew Accounting was not for me. After that night, I spent hours and hours on that simulation. I started going out of my way to learn more and research about Marketing. I started talking to people about Marketing and how much I enjoy it. I started applying to Marketing jobs.
With everything that I do now with Marketing & my Business, I conceptualize in my head. I put things together and know how I want certain things to look and feel. Working on a website design, Social Media feed, graphics, logos, etc… I create in my head and then make it happen.
In the last few years as I started my Marketing journey, everything started to make more sense as I have always had a tendency to like things organized, clean, crisp, and had an eye for pretty things; I am very picky with my clothes, places I go to, my surroundings, my friends, and…ok I’ll shut up now before I get in trouble.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really experience and use that side of my brain up until I got into Marketing.
So what am I getting at?
Would it have been different if I took more Art classes growing up? Would have I chosen a different major if I knew that creative part of me existed?
I don’t know. Maybe. Most likely, yes.
I started college at 17, I literally picked a major (Accounting) in 5 minutes (“Oh, you love Math, you can do Accounting”) and that was it from age 17-25. That’s a lot of years man!
This really comes from the heart, because what I felt at 24 during that class, If I had experienced it & practiced it back when I was 10 years old, I could have been in much different & bigger places right now.
I don’t have kids, so I am not the one to give parental advice, but what I would do with my kids
is show them everything: science, arts, sports, technology, entrepreneurship, business… whatever that is at a young age, and have them find their talent and passion, then work on developing it.
It’s a shame for kids to not have that chance, to force education on them, to not find their calling, and waste years & years to then switch careers afterwards.
Months back, my brother, Tarek M. AbdoTarek Abdo and his sister, Rita Abdo, had started Sparse by Rita An Arts & Music business in Zahle, Lebanon. It really hit with me as soon as I saw the Facebook page and looked at their service offerings. I have been following their moves every day and acknowledging from afar.
I am not acknowledging from afar anymore.
I am not sure about the current education system in Lebanon right now, or more especially in Zahle, but I ask from the bottom of my heart that if Arts & Music are not within the curriculum, for it to be re-evaluated and more emphasis be put on it.
If not within school, or if budget doesn’t allow, sign them up to weekend or summer classes, join workshops, private classes…
There could be a hidden talent within each one of us, within each kid, give them that chance.
My family at Sparse by Rita can help you do that for you and your kids.
Phone: +961 76 166 717
Email: [email protected]
With best intentions,
Just a kid from Zahle who loves what he does.