The Case Against Being Sheeple

It’s Time For a Change

While in college, I became aware of the fact that I was part of a system. The system is designed in a way where I was supposed to go through school, get good grades, and ultimately get hired for a job working for someone else for the rest of my life. It was a clearly laid out path that we are all expected to follow.

What I discovered in college, while in the system, was that very few people were happy to be there. We were there because “that’s just the way it is.” To survive in this world means going to school then getting a job. I always felt that I had very little choice in the matter.

A few weeks ago, I was listening to the podcast The Tim Ferriss Show while driving to Denver. I clicked on an episode featuring Seth Godin; the 17-time bestselling author who writes about challenging the status quo. During the podcast, the topic of education came up. Below is Seth Godin’s response:

“Public school is an artifact of the industrial age. It was invented by industrialists, who needed compliant factory workers. This model is fading. It’s leaving people in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, without the jobs they seek. The idea that you can go to someone and say tell me what to do, and they will pay you a lot of money, is fading faster than ever.”

Mr. Godin goes on to say that this compliance driven model is being replaced. It’s being replaced by people who know how to do two things:

  1. How to solve interesting problems
  2. Lead

These are the two things schools should be teaching, because they are in scarce supply. And the reason they are in scarce supply is because people aren’t being taught to do them. Our culture of schooling is more focused on compliance than initiative.

During my sophomore year, on the last day of my speech class, our professor showed us a video. The video was called A Vision of Students Today, and I encourage you to take four minutes out of your day to watch it. The video illustrates the fact that as college students, we’re engulfed in an outdated system. The college format of sitting in class and listening to a professor talk is hundreds of years old. Something needs to change. We need progress.

I don’t have the answer to this problem. But I believe there’s tremendous value in identifying a problem, so that a solution can be created. We live in an ever-changing world. And not just because of technology. We as human beings are constantly evolving and shifting our ways of thinking. Above all else, college is meant to be our preparation for this ever-changing world. But how can we prepare ourselves while in an unevolved system?

The world is looking at the younger generation to bring about a much needed change. The world tells us, “You are the future.” But in order to provoke change, we must take a closer look at the system we rely on to empower us. Are we being empowered or limited? That is the question we must ask.

I would argue that we’re being limited. And to limit our education is to limit the future of our world. Judging by what our world currently looks like, we can no longer afford to be limited. It’s time for a change.

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