Mediocre Obedience: The Value of Following the Rules . . .

Book: Seth Godin: Linchpin: Are you Indispensable?

Chapter: Indoctrination: How we Got here

The chapter begins in true Seth Godin Style

Mediocre Obedience

We’ve been taught to be a replaceable cog in a giant machiine

We’ve bee taught to consumer a shortcut to happiness

We’ve been taught not to care about our job and our consumers

and we’ve been taught to fit in…

Bottom line? None of these things helps you get what you deserve. Godin says we’ve  bought into a model that taught us to embrace the system, to spend for pleasure, and to separate ourselves from our work.  We’ve been taught this works.  BUT NOT ANYMORE.  This disconnect keeps us from succeeding.  The irony? Godin believes that those who reject the worst of the system are those who actually succeed.

Think about the structure and bureaucracy we were taught to accept–assembly lines, structured schools—like a common and control system for managing and producing citizens in society—all in the name of efficiency and streamlining productivity.  As a college professor, it is easy to see such a silo effect, as we teach our students to follow instructions, to color in the lines, the power of fitting in, the power of not rocking the boat, and the power of consumption.

Seth Godin suggests something else.  What if schools instead taught students to take the initiative to become remarkable artists, to question the status quo and to interact with transparency AND that social consumption is NOT an answer to social problems?

Can we be taught not to settle? Can be taught to revel in our uniqueness instead of just fitting in?  We need schools, we need teachers, but we need a system that teaches student to believe and rewards teachers for doing their BEST work, not the most predictable work or settling ONLY for staying within the lines of the curriculum. Life needs more than simply coloring within the lines.  Can we instead teach students skills to be good at life, rather than simply to be good at homework?

Seth: What should be taught in school:  (1) solve interesting problems and (2) learning to lead . His advice?  Free teachers from tests and reports and busywork.  Lousy teachers are dangerous, but don’t blame them–blame the corporate system that trained them to stay within the lines. . . .

My solution?  I train my students how to think (Not what to think), how to apply theory, how to see what works and what doesn’t, to present their ideas clearly, to show their work with not just providing the answer but how they got the answer.  I would like to teach my students more than just learning, but the application and purpose of learning AND not to settle for what the systems says they can be, but to become the legacy they want to leave behind . . .

What do YOU think? Now what will YOU do about it?

Happy thinking!
My best to your success!

Dr. C

September 6th, 2017 by admin