I have always believed that imitation is truly the highest form of flattery. Remember telling your kids that when the older one would complain “She is being a copy cat!” Well, it’s no secret that Seth Godin is one of my heroes & one who truly inspires me every day to go do something. When I read this particular blog the other day, I actually filled-up a bit because his point is so well taken and, at the same time, somewhat sad. Why share it? Because sharing it might, in some small way, help create more of world that works for everyone – a more sustainable one. And one last thought before you read it, did you ever stop and think that, given the chance, one of “those people” might discover the ultimate cure for some kind of cancer?
Those People by Seth Godin
“At a recent seminar, a woman who helps run a community college stood up to ask a question.
“Well, the bad news,” she said, “is that we have to let everyone in. And the truth is, many of these kids just can’t be the leaders you’re describing, can’t make art. We need people to do manual work, and it’s those people.”
I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless, then heartbroken. All I could think of was these young adults, trusting this woman to lead them, teach them, inspire them and push them, and instead being turned into ‘those people.’
You know, the people who will flip burgers or sweep streets or fill out forms all day. The ones who will be brainwashed into going into debt, into buying more than they can afford, to living lives that quietly move from one assigned task or one debt payment to another. If they’re lucky.
No, I said to her, trying to control my voice, no these are not those people. Not if you don’t want them to be.
Everyone is capable of being generous, at least once. Everyone is capable of being original, inspiring and connected, at least once. And everyone is capable of leading, yes, even more than once.
When those that we’ve chosen to teach and lead write off people because of what they look like or where they live or who their parents are, it’s a tragedy. Worse, we often write people off merely because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking that they have no ability to do more than they’ve been assigned. Well, if we brainwashed them into setting limits, I know we can teach them to ignore those limits.”
Worth the read? I hope so. On my bucket list? Seth Godin on Mrs. Green’s World’s radio show.