Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Other Side of Fear is Passion

We’re entering a revolution of ideas while producing 
a generation that wants instructions instead.

Doing some reading while I'm off the twitters, and came across this great "manifesto" from Seth Godin. It's long, but totally worth your time. Really. Take a look...I think you'll like it.

As a parent of a kid in public school, it's definitely got me thinking. This kid...she's got two parents who love her a lot and who want her to do well, to be happy, to find her passion and stop at nothing to achieve it.

She's 7. She has piano lessons and a skateboard. A bike and two dogs. She takes an art class and plays basketball. She's got opportunities. But what will she do with them? What can she do with them? How do we help her find and nurture her own passion, to love learning for the sake of learning, to dream her own dreams and to desire and develop her own initiative rather than crave (or settle for) instruction? Especially in a world where easy and settling is the status quo.

This "manifesto" makes you think.

You know how when you're actually excited about something, you're leaning forward in your chair, eager to experience more of whatever it is you're experiencing? You go out of your way to learn more about it because it moves you, captivates you, hits all your cylinders? Godin calls that "forward leaning posture" and he believes it's teachable.

Really? Passion is teachable? What a concept.

He also talks about what he calls The Bing Detour, the Bing search engine created by Microsoft and installed as the homepage on most PCs. Turns out, the number one search term on Bing for 2011 was "Google," and then, once the user got to Google, the next most popular search term was "Facebook."

Instead of bookmarking or using the address bar at the top of the browser (or even just outright changing the home page in their settings), Godin says people:
...don’t look for tips or ways to break or open or fix or improve. They self-describe as Dummies and give up, not for lack of genetic smarts, but for lack of initiative and because of an abundance of fear. They weren’t sold on a forward-leaning posture when it comes to technology, so they make no effort, acting out of fear instead of passion. For the rest of their lives.

Right now, Godin implies, people don't care, because the don't have to. The way to save the written word, intellectual discourse, and reason is to train kids to care.

So. How do we do that?

Obedience + Competence ≠ Passion

I love this. 

Remind me I said this when my kid turns 16 (or 12...whatever). 

For now, though. Go read this manifesto!



  1. This is an interesting book I read in the 1970s from Ivan Illich called "Deschooling Society," -


  2. You've always got the best stuff, Laoch. Thanks for sharing this!


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