Why I wrote this book?
I, Mohit Arora, the author, own and lead an American origin boutique cross-border project finance, bank, and financial institutions risk advisory firm.
As an international banker, I have built and advised about $9 billion in credit exposures over the last 18 years with responsibilities in over 50 countries spanning North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
The book is a consequence of my frustrations with and learnings from multiple educational systems while relentlessly seeking high-quality education for my child while living in Brazil, Dubai, India, the US, South Africa, Georgia, and Turkey.
While educating my child in these places I often felt lowballed or misled on the quality of education from a range of schools that my child attended.
Such schools followed varied curriculums such as Swiss origin International Baccalaureate (most expensive but only one to offer an integrated education) to Kumon (that emphasizes repetition over logic and is essentially dull) to demanding Brazilian curriculum (delivered under liberal but most affectionate environment) to Indian origin CBSE curriculum in conservative Dubai schools (most cost-effective but fear driven education) to free Turkish public schools that are surprisingly miles ahead of their global peers, where 4th graders are taught democracy and human rights along with advanced level geometry.
I was also surprised by how the curriculums in the US and the UK may be diminishing the natural intelligence of children by perpetuating low confidence or false confidence through easy curriculums. Such curriculums are surprisingly becoming even easier as time passes. I was also surprised to find that the highly proclaimed Singaporean curriculums are mostly just better graphics when compared to Indian curriculums.
Most worryingly, I was perplexed to discover that no matter how much I was willing to spend, it was not buying my child a proper education leave alone help him develop wisdom.
The shortcomings of the current schooling systems across a range of societies propelled me on an educational exploration journey that forced me to create my own curriculum. My curriculum integrates modern educational tools with learning methodologies from both Western and Asian ancient golden periods. While such methodologies created the original treasure trove of knowledge foundations that we all benefit from, we unfortunately only have a shallow understanding of these foundations.
This book is about this self-created post-modern-but-deep ancient curriculum and the philosophical approach underpinning it.
On a personal note, I gave up a high-ranking banking career to support my wife soon after our son turned two. I was previously the public face of a major international bank in a particularly sensitive sector.
Our son was born exceptionally energetic and slept just 2 to 3 hours at best, in the entire 24 hours. This ruined the immunity of his mother sending her to hospitals many times with infections that on one occasion resulted in a close brush with death.
I wanted to support my wife but did not want my child to be raised by my in-laws or babysitters. My gut feeling was that my child is just fine. The problems emanated from the fact that my wife was just tired, and my child was not getting nourishment beyond food, and clothing.
I thus chose to throw myself into the situation and became a second mother to my son. Our doctor’s prognosis of suppressing the child’s energy with sedatives was not agreed upon by me and my wife despite both of us facing surgeries due to lack of immunity and diminished strength over years. Additionally, the doctor's suggestion that our son may not be “normal” was also cast aside by us and we went with our gut feel.
Thereupon, I acquired a boutique financial advisory firm in the US, that I presently own. This reduced my international traveling obligations, thereby creating more time for my family. My family also supported me by shrinking expenses significantly.
To engage my son, who was two at that time, I created a >20 country travel itinerary along with a cutting-edge curriculum. This was my personal target to be delivered before my son turned 7.
Within a few years, I was pleased to see that my son turned out to be not just a normal child but a very bright one too! The medical prognosis was proven wrong.
My son has done well moving across multiple continents and adjusting to multiple societies like a breeze. He continues to excel in his education while also learning 6 different scripts (Hindi, Arabic, Punjabi, Portuguese and Turkish in addition to English) and a clutch of languages. He is well oriented to 13 different religions with rigorous training in 4 religions and two accompanying philosophies.
Along the way I discovered how teaching my own child was surprisingly the best way to enhance my own capabilities as a professional and human being. My work efficiency increased by 4 to 5 times. What took me many months was now taking just 30 days or so. It also broadened my mind especially by reducing arrogance and building humility.
I started to wonder if parenting was not a one-way but a 2-way process, as I got so much back from a small child.
I am now convinced that the only thing stopping the parents from collecting personal rewards, that are beyond their imagination, is their intent and effort on truly and deeply engaging with their children. An earnest engagement with your children will uplift you as a parent to levels that no formal training or a business school or workplace can come close to providing. This book is about the mutual life-enhancing nourishments and individual upliftment for both parents and children.