When a son asks, “What’s this” it means that we took certain things for granted along the way and failed on some level to impress upon him the centrality of the evening. The answer therefore that the Torah prescribes is a return to basics. We must give him a quick history and theology lesson. The wise son reflects a situation when we thought correctly about the future and presented our children with a curriculum appropriate for their needs. The tam reflects a situation where we did not properly align the curriculum with his needs.
Menachem Begin had it right. Our current decisions must be in line with our future needs. Leaders, teachers and parents must always remember this. Peter Drucker framed this very interestingly. “Long range planning does not deal with future decisions. It deals with the future of present decisions.”