Seth’s Blog: Those people

Insightful post from Seth Godin on how every one of us has the potential to create, to make art, and to lead…

Those people

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.

via Seth’s Blog: Those people.

One comment

  1. Devorah says:

    Thanks so much for writing this. I am a math tutor of students ages 8 though 20’s of all abilities. Most require encouragement and some only need to have someone believe in them so they can start believing in themselves. I am amazed every day, students are so authentic and open when we as adults allow them to shine their own unique thought on the situation at hand. I guide them, but they do the work, they find out they have the ability inside them…its a blessing to watch each one discovering and growing.

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