Let’s not settle for any less any more


Dan Hersam was inspired by the recent talk of abolishing homework and of a better kind of school to post this great quote:

If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you would need to get the police at the gates to keep order in the onrushing multitude.

See in college how we thwart the natural love of learning by leaving the natural method of teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you shall learn what you have no taste or capacity for.

I would have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge.

– Ralp Waldo Emerson


And this applies totally to work as well. Who says we can’t create workplaces that are so inspiring, fun and challenging that we’d have to pay people to stay away?

Who says our workplaces have to be so boring, lifeless and meaningless that we can only get people to show up there by paying them to sacrifice their time and energy at jobs that don’t make them happy?

Let’s stop doing that, OK? It’s been proven time and again that both schools and workplaces can be fun, energizing affairs that draw people in voluntarily. It’s also been proven that doing this makes them more effective.

Let’s not settle for any less any more!

4 thoughts on “Let’s not settle for any less any more”

  1. That’s a great quote. I find that I really like much of Emerson’s words, but I couldn’t stand to read it straight from the source. Also, you have a small typo, it’s Ralph, not Ralp :)

    Keep up the good work! I read all your articles.

  2. Jason: No, no, this quote is from Ralph’s younger, little known brother Ralp. Ralph himself was all in favor if a strict, disciplinarian approach to schooling.

    OK, OK, you got me – it was a typo :o)

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