Debate Magazine

Wanna Run? You Can

By Stevemiranda

After graduating from college, I was sure of three things: I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, or who I was. I had gone from first grade to second grade, proceeded all the way up to twelfth grade, and then on to my freshman year, which for me was pretty much like thirteenth grade. I had a strategy for success: show up, follow directions, do the minimum, and utilize my free time to immerse myself in activities that I loved.

As a 12-year-old, that meant going to every baseball card convention within 40 miles of my home and self-publishing sports magazines on an electric typewriter.

In college, it was serving as sports editor of the college newspaper. I pretty much lived in the newsroom for the last two years of school.

But I knew I couldn’t keep living that lifestyle. After college, it would have meant getting a job at some company, and relegating the things I loved to the weekends. I knew I wanted more. But I also had no idea what that meant.

So I moved across the country to Tucson, Arizona and got a part-time job as a waiter. I cleared my head, met interesting people, went on road trips, and read all the books that I was supposed to read in school (but had only skimmed the Cliff’s Notes). It was an extraordinary time, the first time that I felt free from the daily demands of what I was supposed to do, of preparing for whatever was supposed to come next.

I was at a bar one night talking to some guy, and he was amazed by my story. “You mean you just packed up and moved across the country? You didn’t have a job lined up? You didn’t know anyone? Wow, I wish I could do that.”

It was such a strange remark. I looked at him and said, “You can.”

* * *

I remembered this story today after reading an awesome free e-book inspired by Seth Godin’s latest, Poke the Box. The author is a guy named Clay Hebert. He writes,

Two words can change everything.

I love playing basketball. I remember being 11 years old and going to the local playground. A bunch of older kids were all just shooting around at the two hoops and not really playing. I asked a simple two-word question that changed everything, “Wanna run?”

They all nodded excitedly and we started a full-court game that lasted for hours. More players showed up. A group of girls showed up just to watch. Everyone had a great time and we didn’t leave until they shut off the playground lights. We started playing every night at the same time.

The sad, surprising tale is that this same scene has repeated itself hundreds of times in my life. I show up to a court and everyone is just shooting buckets, like they need an 11-year old’s permission to organize a game.

“Wanna run?”

* * *

The way schools are structured teaches kids to think that anything you want to do requires asking permission first. Without that permission, we learn to sit around and wait for something to change. There’s no process in place to help kids learn how to initiate something. One of the best things we can do for kids is to help them internalize some version of these two-word messages.

Mine is, “You can.”

Clay Hebert’s is “Wanna run?”

Come up with your own or steal one of these, then teach it to a cool kid who’s complaining that school sucks but isn’t doing anything about it. Encourage her to start something awesome without asking permission first.

(Join the discussion at www.facebook.com/reeducate. Get updates at www.twitter.com/reeducate.)


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Artisanal Skincare Holy Basil Cleansing and Toning Water Review

    Artisanal Skincare Holy Basil Cleansing Toning Water Review

    As we all know how important the toning step is in our regular CTM routine. Lately I have been loving floral waters or hydrosols as toners and so far I have... Read more

    11 hours ago by   Skincarevilla
    HAIR & BEAUTY
  • Soon By You Episode 4: The Dates | Soon By You (video)

    Soon Episode Dates (video)

    David and Sarah finally go on their first date. Jacobs explores foreign avenues for a love connection and Noa, Ben, and Z take up volunteering. Read more

    12 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Gldmeier
    RELIGION, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • Locaflea Summer Jam 2017 Starts Today in Ahmedabad

    Locaflea Summer 2017 Starts Today Ahmedabad

    Shopping is the best remedy, someone said it and it’s true, especially when your city is boiling and the temperature stays beyond 38 throughout the day or even... Read more

    12 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Hetal Shah
    FASHION
  • Summer Makeup Tips for Long Lasting Makeup

    Summer Makeup Tips Long Lasting

    Hey everyone today’s post is very informative and very useful for the hot scorching summer time. I am going to talk about my most used summer makeup tips for... Read more

    12 hours, 40 minutes ago by   Sugandha Choudhary
    HAIR & BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE
  • A Very Nice Day

    Very Nice

    Thursday dawned bright and clear and rather cool -- a perfect day to be outside! Shelia, my friend since 7th grade, was in town and offered to come over and pul... Read more

    14 hours, 49 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • 33, And Counting…

    Counting…

    I have 33 job applications out there. …Have taken 5 Interviews so far, and every day at work is like trying to survive a crawfish boil…as a fucking crawfish. Read more

    15 hours, 24 minutes ago by   Shewritesalittle
    CREATIVITY, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Hypermasculinity – Sometimes It’s Not All About The Girls

    Hypermasculinity Sometimes It’s About Girls

    16th December 2012. A 23-year old student was not just gang-raped but tormented and beaten in the most barbaric way possible on a moving bus. Read more

    16 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Scribe Project
    SELF EXPRESSION