Society on the Future

Tonight Kim and I were discussing some things. And here are some of my opinions and the things I got out of it.

Something I notice [and I am sure others notice] is that many young people look for people to lead them which is what you are supposed to do when you are young, but its more like they use it as a way to be… lazy. They rely too much on others. They dont take initiative and they lack confidence. I have noticed on robotics teams that many times students dont try to step up, because they have the mentors to lead them. And when said student does step up – the other students do not always listen because they dont have authority. Where is the respect for your peers?

I feel that kids today are exposed to too much, and struggle to make decisions on their own. They always seem to need someone to tell them what to do. There are so many choices you can make that are right or wrong. I think television and videogames are not so great for society. I know 8 year olds who dance like Britney Spears or Missy Elliot and swear like Eminem. But then again, are their parents trying to help them make the right choices when they are young?

Another subject that was brought up is how people always have to find something to put the blame on. If something happens or goes wrong “it wasnt my fault.” If they fail a class – its the teachers fault. It just seems to me that you make the choice to do or not to do your work – making it your fault. Sometimes it seems to be a team effort to me though – a teacher/student work balance.

Another area was how kids arent getting the right direction. Today schools are more worried about a childs self esteem than whether or not they understand the material. They are not holding kids back because it could hurt their self-esteem. This doesnt teach them anything for later in life. As Kim brought up… What are they going to do when they get into college? In college they arent going to care about your self-esteem. They are going to go by the choices you make. Whether you decided to go to class and do your work, and take initiative and get things done.

One way in which I would like to relate this to FIRST is that * But I really think more students should be able to step up and take initiative in FIRST and strive to get things done.

But basically I do not agree with the way society is today [never really have] so that is why I rebel [in the good way].

[Kim feel free to elaborate if you want since I know you have your opinions, I am kinda tired… and can never get things out right in words. haha]

[Also sorry for random changing of ideas, I always have so many things running around in this little head of mine!]

Read Kims Ideas… She is the one who made me bring this up. And she has good points*

Hmm I agree with alot of what you said but I have to be fair.

Sometimes, it’s not the particular attitude that’s wrong, it’s the technique used to correct it.

People are lazy - yes. But alot of people are also afraid to step up – I am the type of person to shy away because “i don’t know enough” and “don’t want to look stupid” (foolish, I know). For the first time ever, I’m being encouraged to try anyway and I think we should see this more. If more people encourage to TRY and to SEE what it’s like, maybe it could happen. I do’nt think it’ll solve the problem, but it may be one less student’s intellect wasted.

Also, I don’t think students are struggling any more than they used to. What about the children who quit school to work and pay for their family? What about children who endured the depression. Every decade brings its own “hard” problem and the difficulty doesn’t change, just the situation. I feel it’s apart of the maturing process to deal with these problems. We may not always make the right decisions but it always comes back to us (I’m a strong believer of karma). I agree, however, that there are many outside influences that guide us in the wrong direction. How many times have I seen people make fun of driven, hardworking people? Too many. That’s not necessary. It seems that “watching TV” is the cool thing. No, there’s nothing wrong with it but, as a person who does not watch tv, there’s nothing wrong in this either. Two ways, two methods, two sides that deserve respect.

And blaming. Man, I’ve been guilty of this so many times. This, I feel is no excuse, we DO need to step back sometimes and say “i’m wrong.” But people also need to learn that it’s never “one person” – it’s always a mix of fault. And chiding someone for their faults isn’t necessarily the best idea. A person can deal with their own faults.

As far as direction/self-esteem goes, I have noticed how fragile the “self-esteem” is treated in schools. I don’t see any clear solution to this. Some students don’t care and some teachers don’t try to care. Maybe in an ideal setting I would suggest the teachers to grade harsher and encourage more – but there is no such thing.

Nice thread ashley, I got to do a whole mental splurge, those are good for me every now and then =).

Ahh yes, the ever interesting debate [and it was a great conversation ashley! :)] I was mentioning that I wasnt sure how/if I wanted to post it, but since its here! This is going to be another one of those headache in august discussions!

This discussion has passed around several times, and last night I was talking with our new teacher about it. We were trying to figure out ways to really motivate the students, to get them to get up and take action. I really like our team, and they are really hard workers, but its usually when a goal is set for them (and I see this with a lot of other teams). So someone (usually a mentor) has to step up and take charge, then the troops will eagerly follow.

But of course this dissolved into the “why” is this? “Why” dont students just get up and take charge themselves? Its being handed to them, they have great ideas, brainstorming is awesome, they will do tons of work if I throw it on the calendar… so why is it that so few of them will actually take ownership of a new idea and run off with it?

We decided a lot of it had to do with the way society is today. The famous “Its not my fault I spilled hot coffee on myself, McDonalds makes it too hot!!” So we sue McDonalds… come on! Lets blame our problems on everyone but ourselves. And its getting rediculous, I know teachers who ARE NOT allowed to fail students in elementry and middle school (like ashley mentions) because it will hurt their self esteem… well what about when they get to high school and cant multiply 9*8?!? Let alone do algebra or calculus problems!

Lets help these kids learn, but show them that there are consequences. Its like the parents who flip out because their 8 year old kid played a first person shooter game on xbox… well who let them buy the game? who taught them that at that age it was ok to shoot things? When I was a kid (and this really wasnt all that long ago!!) I knew what right and wrong were… I knew that there were consequences to making the wrong choices. But there are also so many benefits to making the right choices, to standing up and taking action, to becoming a leader.

Too many parents are protecting their kids from the harms of the great big bad world these days… I say let them experience it. Let them get hurt, but be there to help them pick themselves up. The world is real, and it will be much more of a shock if they are sheltered from it.

I could have gone through college like any other kid, graduated and become an engineer… but I chose to step up and start two FIRST teams… I wanted to lead, I wanted to inspire. But in high school there were others like that, we had a whole group of us, any of whom would come up with an idea, present it and then run with it. When I was a SOPHOMORE, I was convinced that there was a magic way to win the competition… “the magic bean”, none of the engineers would believe me… so I sat down and sketched it out, one of the engineers took interest… together he and I built it, with my lead. And it worked! We didnt use it on the robot… but I learned so much, I learned that with a little creative geometry, I could engineer!

So what happened to those days? The days where there were so many student leaders… where kids lead because they wanted to, not because it looked good on their transcript??

Stepping back, the reason I am still so in love with FIRST is I still see so many students involved in FIRST who are willing to lead (so FIRST students, dont think Im bashing you), but my ponderance is how to I break through to those students who have that potential, but are still feeling sheltered… how do I bring out the leader in them, or just get them to take ownership (instead of me giving it to them). And no offense to the leaders, but I kind of want to hear this answer out of those of you who arent yet leaders, or mentors/students that have experience bringing this out in others.

And perhaps I already know the answer, its in the one on one, personal interaction day to day with students, where they see us as leaders, we believe in them, and they realize their potential… but some days I wish the rest of them would just wake up and see what they are really capable of.

Ok I typed enough… who cares about sleep! lol.

holy cow that was longer than I realized now that I see it posted… my apologies if you made it this far!!

I know what you mean. I have been like that forever. And somehow I am breaking outa my shell and deciding to try and not worry. Everyone makes mistakes, and I shouldnt have to care what other people think about me, if its good then thanks for liking me… and if they dont like me – its a shame but its their choice.

I know this side of the story too. I can tell you I dont have the easiest life right now, but I am still doing what I can. And I agree that hard working people are made fun of too often and it is discouraging.

I know how that feels too. :slight_smile:

Oooh tough one. I think it’s kind of like finding the right spark to light the match. For some, it’s taking them to the competition, or others its showing them something new and speficically saying “you can make this exactly what you want it, the limits are yours”, for others (like me) just give us time and we’ll realize the leader was inside ourselves all along, finally some people just need that “baton” – form will follow suite. (WHY? Because some people want the responsibility, just can’t ask for it).

A big motivator (i’m using myself as an example): When someone gives me a responsibility that I’m not necessarily happy about, hearing the words “I gave this to you because I think you can do it” or something along those lines really brings me around. Alot of times, the praise is implied and never verbally “said”. SAY IT. When we hear it, we think, we realize and consequently, we get inspired.

First off ashley, this is a very good thread. Way to discuss and talk it out. Now I do like to remind you (as I did in aim) and others on chiefdelphi “Please don’t hesitate to share what you have to say about critical topics like this, we aren’t here on the forums to talk things out to make this place a better place.”

I have seen this too. I have noticed that students who even tries gets shot down by their peers. Thats not how it should be. Students always give up (the ones that get shot down), reason why they stop showing up to meetings.

I don’t know if I should bring this topic in here but I think I should point it out. RCU has been trying so hard to get the girls involved on the robotics team and engineering. Personally I think, it takes the willingness to get to that point. Yes, guys do tend to think that the things guys can do, girls can’t. At many points, guys will be proven wrong by the girls who are willing to do something. I have a great example.

I have known Tiffany Lee (180) for about a year and 8 months. I have seen that girl not care about what the guys on the team think about her and her work. She has worked so hard and I can proudly say that she is one of the better machinists than many other guys here. She got shot down probably many times, but she didn’t give up. The reason she is right now is because she never backed off. Her willingness got her there.

It is always one’s choice about what they want to do. Yes, at times parents do make decisions, but most of the time it is yours about who you want to be. Do you think parents would want their son/daughter to dance like Britany
Spears or Missy Elliot and swear like Eminem when they are 8 years old. No I don’t think so. At the same time you can’t blame it on the child because he/she is only 8. The kids are being exposed to a lot of things. The parents who are strict can/do control their child at a young age so that when the child grows into a teenager they can trust him/her.

It is human nature. You won’t be able to find a single person who can say that “I have never blamed anything on anyone.” As time passes by and one who learns how teamwork works, they tend to not to blame it on one and tries to come up with the solution. I used to blame everything on others. But I am trying my hardest to work as a team and not blame anyone, rather solve it in a mature way.

[quote=“Ashley Christine”]
One way in which I would like to relate this to FIRST is that * But I really think more students should be able to step up and take initiative in FIRST and strive to get things done.

I couldn’t agree wtih you more Ashley. If we could send the message to everyone saying “step up,” the community would be a lot better place.

I do agree with you here. A student never get to experience what the real world looks like until they are a senior in high school or just getting into college, where they get all nervous and worried about how will they organize themselves.

Now going into the topic of FIRST, the reason I would like to stick with this organization is because of the mentors who tell you to be the future leaders. I love the process how a mentor passes his/her knowledge to one and expects that student will pass it onto another (I am speaking from experience). FIRST has helped a lot of students to choose who they want to be. FIRST is a real world where you choose your destiny.

I just got a PM from one of the members on chiefdelphi. She is hesitating to post here because she thinks that she has posted enough for today. If you have something meaningful to say or something that may help someone out… please DON’T HESITATE.

This is probably one of the longest posts I have made since I joined Chiefdelphi. Sometimes few things should be brought up and discussed. :)[/quote]

The tallest blade of grass gets cut first.

Almost always being a truly driven, unique, outspoken individual is much more difficult then going with the flow. Is it worth it? It’s hard to say, and a lot of people don’t want to take the risk. Can you blame them?

first off…thank you arefin for the kind words. all i say is i try… fail a lot but yea.

secondly i can rant on this topic b/c of who i am and all.

but i’ll try to make this short.

  1. it is true parents well it’s a lot of their faults…their lil boy or girl can’t possible mess up in life… it becomes the teachers fault or mentors b/c they didn’t spend one on one time w/ the student or they just teach the kids the wrong thing… okies my mom always disapproves of how kids hate to try to eat new things b/c of their parents just saying they won’t like it…we have different taste buds then our parents… unless you try it you won’t know you like it

  2. tv. okies i didn’t grow up watching a lot of tv. i see my niece and nephew just sitting there watching tv for entertainment… it is really not that great… soo many things that aren’t appropriate for age groups and parents just let them.and excerise and using your own mind w/ games is better.

  3. chances… yes many are afraid to as ms. frizzle said in the magic school bus… “take chances and get messy”…you have to believe in yourself and just go for it

  4. there are still leaders and followers… i like to believe i have become a leader. it’s easy still to get into peer pressure and all. it seems to have gotten worse in the eyes of my parents. everyone wants to fit and and be cool.

  5. one thing i have to say is what my mom always tells me: “you have to know who you are and where you come from and don’t be ashamed” if you don’t know yourself and backgroud how do you except yourself to make a difference if you don’t know your wants, likes, needs, or goals

  6. growing up… well everyone has to do it…we all like to be kids at heart…but you have to take on responsiblites… a lot of kids don’t have any at home…or they have so much to take on… we need a balance of course but what is it i’m not sure. but baby steps are a way unless well some unfortante things fall into your plate

  7. making your own choices…this is a part of growing up and all. okies my mom ever since i was a little kid picked my schools… really from day 1… my mom asked me how many days of pre-school i wanted… choice between 3 days or 5 …well i picked 5… every big choice really… i thank my parents a whole bunch for letting me choose what i wanted and felt is right…the same thing about college… i’m going to USF… i could have gone other places but it’s my life and how i achieve my dream is up to me. but when you mess up…take the blame…it’s better…you become a better person…with all our faults and achievements everyone is a great being…just have to find our calling in life (and yes that’s hard to figure out for sure…i haven’t really yet either)

  8. (ha i better shut up soon lol) i suggest find something that motivates you… mine is simply if i dont’ do it…i can’t sleep @ nite…so i might as well tackle my problem or not sleep and well we all know you need sleep …but always be proud of how you are and what you have done… and be accepting of others…everyone is different…yet everyone is the same…we all have feelings… as we learn all the time…don’t just shoot down someone’s idea in a design review… let everyone have a chance… you never know it could be a good one…

sry this is long again…but really kids need to be themselves, take some chances and try…not hid behind their parents and all… i am actually a very shy person and i sorta fully gotten out of my shell… in addition though… don’t except to be praised when you do something great… i think that’s a lot of kids’ problem today. they expect to be told its great what they are doing. you have to realize when you are doing something great so be proud. the more you rely on you…the better you are… and well friends are great i knwo they are… remember your family… they are the ones that will support you no matter what… some kids forget about their family…listen you many not like what your parents says but listen to your elders…they have gone through a lot that we haven’t yet and can help. and remember too stand up for what you believe in as people always say but it’s true.

FIRST has helped me that’s why i love it so much. i thank my big bro for getting me into this. i love FIRST and my hs team 180 for letting me take chances… yes like arefin said…i was pushed down many many times…and not wanted in the pit…but i took over and became the pit captain… if you want it bad enough you’ll find a way… arefin always tells me that… FIRST is a great community as i say time after time b/c really it is b/c there are so many great people that probably have sorta gone through what you have or truly have and are soo willing to help. overall i have never met a better bunch of people that i call a part of my great big family.

and i shall now end this ranting… but… i wish everyone luck in life…society will never be perfect…i’m not sure how it is going to turn out…but i’m sure it’ll be okay…w/ things like FIRST around and the people in FIRST there is good. younger generations just have to learn somehow all the things we are learning and with time they will. and well when some of us become parents perhaps will remember this thread and realize yea parents do affect us…well okies everyone affects us… need positive role models… i hope everyone can be a good role model for others… i think you all are… so yeah good luck in life… peace w/ you all…

sorry sorry again this was long…

There are leaders and there are followers. If there were only leaders or only followers, it would be anarchy. Everyone has their place in the world. People are born to be leaders or followers the same way that they are born to be an engineer or an artist. They will go where they are comfortable and where they will be most effective. Personally, I’m not a leader. I hate being in leadership positions. If I have to, I will get the job done, but I won’t like it. I just hate telling people what to do.

I agree that some don’t step up because there are others there. But that’s the way it is. Things happen out of necessity. If there’s no need for someone to be a leader (because someone already is), they won’t see any reason to step up.

I don’t think that it’s a lack of respect for peers, just a lack of respect for those they don’t feel deserve it. Within our own team, some students command more respect than others. Some are almost never questioned, others were named “honorary freshman for life” and accept the abuse that comes with the title (not that we abuse our freshman…using whips and chaining them together isn’t abuse right?). I think that people generally have to earn your respect before you give it to them. People that are older than you have a head start because they theoretically have more experience. That’s the only reason they usually command more respect than peers.

The pessimist will blame themselves, the optimist will blame others. It’s human nature. If there’s something wrong with you, then you are flawed. Nobody likes to think that there’s a problem with themselves.

[quote=“Ashley Christine”]
One way in which I would like to relate this to FIRST is that * But I really think more students should be able to step up and take initiative in FIRST and strive to get things done.

Our team is primarily student run. Teachers handle all the official business with the school. Student leaders handle all internal affairs. I think that a few of our leaders wouldn’t have normally taken the position, but it was forced on them. The founders of the team designed it to be student run so someone had to fill the positions. Some of them are respected more than others, some seem to like the position better than others… Some people are cut out for leadership, others aren’t.

Me too. But I undertake a passive rebellion. In general, I just don’t like people that don’t think. People tend to see one side of something and stop looking. If they do happen to keep looking, they tend to stop when they find a side they like. People are happy eating whatever the media throws at us. I like to show people the side they don’t want to look at. To those that may be stalking me on the forums, you may notice that I like to take the opposite side of a discussion and argue with people. I don’t always disagree with those I am arguing with and I don’t always believe what I argue. What I do believe however, is that it shows people something they normally can’t or don’t want to see.[/quote]

I’ll start here… and I have heard that analogy before… but wow, the more I think about it, thats silly!! The tallest blade does not get cut first… the one under the mower does!! And all of the blades of grass are going to get cut to the same length at the same time (well barring the spinning direction of the blade). Enough philosophy.

But my answer to this question is it IS worth it. Do you think Dean or Bill Gates went with the flow?!?! How about Michael Jordan or Picabo Street?!?! How about your mentors? Did they go with the flow of the rest of the people in this world who dont have time to bother with high school students? HECK NO! :slight_smile: Being different is worth it. I agree that its hard in the school years to debate whether or not it is worth it to stand out, but believe in yourself and make your own decisions I PROMISE you[and anyone else who asks this question] it is worth it, it will get you MUCH MUCH farther in life. If any of these people actually had anyone they looked up to, you look up to someone because they are different, you dont look up to someone who does exactly the same thing as everyone else, they would understand being different is worth it.

Well, I think people misunderstood Ashley a bit. To put it back in the context of the discussion we had, we werent talking so much about the actual leaders (the ones who step up and run the team)… What Ashley and I were talking about is that students are not willing to step up and take OWNERSHIP of a task on their own. For example, we had a set of students that really wanted to run a CAD seminar for the team. Yet when I asked them to pick a date and lay out their plans… nothing happened. They didnt take ownership. As far as I could tell, they wanted me to tell them when and where and what to teach. Then they would show up and do it.

I 100% agree that you need leaders and followers. However, you do not need mindless followers. And you do not need dictators. The best leader and the best follower are BOTH teamworkers. They both contribute ideas, they both can take action, they both can get things done.

And I get what you are saying here, but I dont agree. I am an optimist… however, I blame myself a lot. I do whatever I can to either not assign blame to others, or just take action to correct it (whats the use of blame anyway??) its much more productive to just do something about it. And 99% of the pessimists I know, will say its the world’s fault, or the teachers fault, or the government’s fault. But I do agree that most people dont want to think the problem lies within. Its hard to accept.

Anyways, this is interesting to see others perspectives on this :slight_smile: Note that where I disagree, I dont intend to “argue”, just present my view of the situation.

Society on the Future?

I think one of our biggest problems is we dont have any specific purpose or direction as a country, species, or for society in general.

For most of the last few thousand years people spent most of their lives just trying to stay alive - food, clothes and shelter, provide for the real-life needs of your family.

But today? It takes very little effort to feed yourself, to have clothing and shelter - so what is our real purpose today?

What are we trying to accomplish as a society, a nation? a species?

Will people be dancing in the streets if we find some ooze of goo living under a rock on Mars? Will we have fullfilled our purpose if we have 10 people living on Mars (with living conditions very much like our south pole?).

You tell young people “you have to work hard, to have to strive…”

but the question that has no clear answer right now is “Why?”

I’ve always thought that what makes an average person exceptional is not their inability to make mistakes, but rather their ability to recognise, rectify, and learn from them. It is not easy for people to take responsibility for themselves. But then, like most things in life, we must recognise when we have been at fault and accept it. It will be hard for many people, but then again, that is why some people will rise a cut above the rest.

When I joined Team 228 in freshman year, I was a quiet freshman. I liked to watch how everything was run, and I helped immensly during the build season that year. I didn’t really step up to anything important because I didn’t know very well yet the other people of the team. But this past year, my second year on the team, we found ourselves without a student to run our website. By now, I decided that I had nothing to lose by volunteering, so I stepped up. As Shakespeare once said in Julius Caeser, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

I didn’t know anything about HTML, CSS, or anything even remotely connected to creating websites. And yet, I still volunteered. Starting with a blank slate (literary), I created the layout, graphics, and most of the content for the website. Within two monthes I had a very large, fully functional website online, just in time for the submission deadline. And guess what? Our team won the Best Website Award at the UTC Regional.

Just setting a goal, or a dream, or some other aspiration and giving it your all to accomplish it is a very rewarding endeaver. But as with all things in life, failure is inevitible. As Walt Disney once said, “A good hard failure early on in life can usually do more good than bad”. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid of the fear of failing.

If and when you fail (it will happen sooner or later, just accept it), learn that it is not personal, that it isn’t [insert name]'s fault, that failure just happens. Not everything is going to go your way. Work with failure, not against it. Learn from it, and use that knowledge to better your chances of success. For just remember, that it took Edison thousands of attempts to perfect his idea for the electric incandessant light bulb. And when his illuminating innovation suddenly worked, it outshown all his failures. :slight_smile:

I too have wondered about this. But then again, refure this if I am wrong. Capatalism of the Internet, especially by average people, is just the oppisite. Sure there are still alot of people looking to profit off it, but there are a ton that are doing this stuff for basically free. More and more people are creating free programs, open source software (like the incredible Firefox browser :stuck_out_tongue: ), totally free libraries worth of information (Wikipedia), and people host millions of websites that generate no income, yet hold innumerable amounts of information.

Why? Many of these websites and programs will generate no immediate income - except for generous donations from average people who are impressed with the software/information and want to keep it available. But we must wonder, is this some giant, yet subtle movement that as a species we want (even if subconsciously) to reach out and bridge the gaps, and want to better ourselves for the sake of being better? This, I believe, would be an excelent goal for the human race.

this is a short offshoot from the topic, but these freewebsites are often worth every ¢ you pay to access them.

Published information, and websites run by businesses that are making money on what they post, both have a real need to get things right, and they can be held liable if they get things wrong

but ‘joes webpage’ cannot be taken as an authority on anything. There is nothing to stop people from posting incorrect information on websites if no fee is being charged for use or access, and the author has no way of making a profit from it.

A good example is the email that has been churning the web for the last few months stating that Mars was going to appear to be as big as the moon in the night sky on a certain date. Totally wrong, and I must have gotten that email fowarded by at least 5 different people.

Usually you really do get what you pay for.

Well, we can always look at those famous people and say that being diff is worth it, but we have to look at the other side of the coin.

Some other examples of "different people"include Hitler, Stalin, and many others. Being different can mean many things. Both of the names i just mentioned are people who dared to have a different mindset on many things that society had come to believe as right (and society was right those times…)

I only mention this because i have a tendency of being the tallest blade of grass many times. I often think of things, or voice ideas that aren’t in everybody’s comfort zone. I get flamed for it. I’ve somewhat grown accustomed to it though.

I do agree with a lot of what has been said though. I think that there are a lot of students who, like you guys have said, just need to be shown how to lead. From my personal experiences both as a team captain and as a camp counsellor this summer, I’ve concluded that leading by a GOOD EXAMPLE is the best way to get people to act in the desired way. So, if you have a few students who are volunteering and leading well, let the other students know that thats the kind of leadership that needs to be taken. Encouragement and positive reinforcement are what we need to teach incoming freshmen and others too timid to take leadership. One of my fellow team members is amazing at all aspects of robot stuff, but has never taken a leadership role. Its his/her choice not too lead, but i think that progress is being made because of the mentors and student leader’s good examples.

So, i guess what I’m trying to say is that just because the tallest blade of grass gets cut first doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep growing. Many students are that tall to start with, they’re just bent over a bit. SO stand tall, because the taller you are, the more you can see!

And yet, it is the tallest tree that gets the sunlight. It all depends on how you view yourself.

I couldn’t agree with this more. I think for a team to work smoothly, it needs leaders and followers. But every leader should sit back sometimes and every follower should take charge sometimes. It’s all about respect, responsibility and maturity.

Offshooting, I find it a personal pet peeve to find people where I ask them “so why are you doing this” and they say “i don’t know.” Clearly no one should do something without knowing why! Even if it’s “well I have a feeling that I might enjoy this” would work. But how can people live their lives without realizing the purpose behind their actions? If everything happens for a reason, then taking out the “purpose” behind an action just complicates the causes and effects.

YES, Thomas Alva Edison is a great example of that. It wasn’t those 100 errors he made but those 100 steps it took to get to his final invention. (I don’t remember HOW many times he tried the experiment…i’m only saying 100 because I don’t remember)

Yes, there are consequences for standing out and for not standing out – but sometimes, these “flames” are just a test. As I mentioned before, I’m a strong believer of karma and reason. I see these “flames” as more of a reason to become “fireproof”

I’ll just start with what Ashley started with. It all comes down to people being considerate. Considerate of the real world, considerate of what consequences, good and bad, result from their actions, and other things to consider as well. Not only that, but what does the person do when he/she considers, and after he/she thinks about it; in other words, the product.

You really can’t. You can try, it may work, but leaders are called to be that way. It’s also the same with ‘lazy’ people strangely. They are called to be lazy and inconsiderate on purpose. By who? God, some event, something makes their brain that way.

I’ll take myself for example. I was called to lead the LEGO League team at the Middle Shcool because it would’ve died if I hadn’t bugged that teacher to be an advisor to the program and stood up when the team got going. Now, I am called to lead the robotics team because I want to make it better overall. There are many barriers to doing that that I wish to crush, and that others say are impossible to. I don’t think that way. I think: if there’s a problem, fix it, no matter what (not to the demise of the team, of course). Am I leader yet? No, but I’m getting ever closer to doing so because I know I have to. (I made a mistake in the election of the co-leaders the previous year, so I learned something)

Very very tough to say that, but I agree with it 100%. It would’ve made me a better person by a conderable margin in my opinion. The only reason why this is happening is because people want to make money off of the littlest things. As a real soft and off the subject example in comparison: EBay. But in the real world, people complain about sidewalks being a little off kilter, playgounds having dangerous but really fun equipment (ahh, remember those days), etc.

In short, this world has ran off of problems since its beginning, when Adam decided to eat the apple, and a whole series of events followed. To be perfectly real, there is absolutely no such thing as the perfect solution to big world problems. If somebody claims they have found one, they must me somewhat out of line. Therefor we have leaders to lead the lazy, engineers to help the leaders, and teachers to teach the engineers and leaders, and it just goes on.

And what about purpose to life. We cannot state a real purpose or a lack of, because the amount of knowledge we don’t know is too much that makes it impossible to make such a statement. Not to stir something up, but that’s why we have something called religion, because without purpose, everything just dies due to a lack of reason to live. The plants live to feed us and other living things, who live for other purposes, etc. Water exists because something needs it, like other objects, seen and unseen. And a God exists in theory and belief to give the idea to us of purpose to live. And that leads back to the beginning of this chain… (Energizer bunny, keep beating).

This is definitely more than 2 cents, and I’ll probably have more.


Stepping up - Leadership - Authority - Respect - Prosperity. It’s pretty easy to connect all and see a very strong relationship. It’s how all teams work. 80% of the students are lazy. 20% of the students probably do 80% of the work. If you just hand work over to the kids, some will, some wont. It’s just the way things are. Everything is not for everybody. But those who step up and work hard benefit more than the others - even if the result is not immediate.

You are absolutely right. Television and videogames are the #1 brain damager in the world. Why? It’s the easiest and most available way for kids to immitate. Very fanscinating and influenctial, they know how to get you. If you watch directors, movie makers, television commercial makers talk indepth about how they make their productions, they will straight out tell you its about manipulating the public’s minds. But wait a second… that is wrong. That’s not suppose to happen. The kids are not suppose to look up to Eminem as their role model. His stuff on TV is just for ENTERTAINMENT, but the kids have taken it way beyond. The reason is they have no other role model to follow, no direction, no motivation so they will obviously follow what influences them the most. I blame the parents - and let the parents blame their parents, and let them blame their parents, it will keep going on. The right thing to do is take control and learn the right way. Books might help. Let me demonstrate an example. I have a passion for photography and am saving up for a digital SLR. The reason is because my uncle owns one and I sit down with him and learn all this stuff. He’s motivating me to do something worthwhile and useful.

Blaming is one thing that will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER STOP NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. BUT - people of real character will accept their faults. I have one message for all of you - apologizing and admitting to your faults DOES NOT make you of LOWER STATUS in front of other people. Infact, it’s the opposite. Accepting your faults also lets you analyze youself and improve the quality of your life.

That’s why I love FIRST. It has boosted my self esteem and self image so much. I could never stand in front of a crowd and speak before I joined FIRST. After giving numerous presentations for various things, I can now confidently stand and talk and not worry if I mess up because I know as long as it’s natural its good. By facing tough situations and doing some intensive work, FIRST helps us boost our self image. wo0t.

[quote=“Ashley Christine”]
One way in which I would like to relate this to FIRST is that * But I really think more students should be able to step up and take initiative in FIRST and strive to get things done.

Leadership is an art, not science. Therefore it does not apply to engineers. OK Just kidding. But you are right, the world needs more leaders. Leadership is no joke because when you are a leader, people want to follow you. They want to copy you. If you do the wrong thing, they do the wrong thing. There are going to be obstacles, if the leader does not stand strong there will be chaos. There will be an opposition. Another person who wants to be a leader but has wrong values and people will even be willing to follow this person. If the real leader is not strong, then the wrong things will happen. Leaders have to be go-getters. If they put off work, everyone will.

The other day someone asked me “Are leaders born?”. My answer was “yes”. All leaders are born, I don’t know any unborn leaders. What I am trying to say is there is no such thing as “born leaders”. Read books by John Maxwell for more about leadership. He has done very intense research about this subject. Everyone has some sort of leadership qualities in them - you just have to bring them out. I would suggest reading “The leader in you” by Dale Carnegie. I would also suggest reading this post. Those books have helped me tremendously in my personal life and I hope it helps you to embetter yourself too.


As others have said, there will always be leaders, and there will always be followers. The leaders normally know what needs to be done, and do it, while the followers normally sit back and watch, perhaps aiding if they want to. Commonly I’ve seen this happen on some of the larger teams, where there isn’t exactly enough work to interest most of the students.

One of the problems with other students not listening, while I really don’t want to rationalize it, is with the normal cliquéiness of high school, social groups normally only seen during school arise in the closed club environment. Whoever is in the ‘highest’ social group will probably turn someone into a pariah, and others will follow their lead like cattle just because it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do.

You’re absolutely right, yet what can any of us do about it beyond our choices for our own children? Sure, we can instill values in younger generations, yet there will always be the peer pressure of their friends who didn’t have parents who instilled the same values to do something against what they’ve been taught. Most kids (yes, including us) will probably turn to a friend who hasn’t gone through something before rather than attempt to talk to a parent, teacher, mentor, neighbor, etc., just because of the age similarity and the belief that they might understand a situation more than an older person.

Yet no one is truly telling the schools outright that what they’re doing is wrong, and that they need to cease and desist. Their “goal” is to provide students with a learning environment that, as many put it, “creates productive citizens.” They don’t really seem to believe at all that it matters how much the student learns or gains from any material that’s taught, but rather that they just graduate and move on with their life. The whole education system revolves around that principle, and many of the people designing the education system nowadays disregard strictness in favor of allowing children to “express themselves,” which has proven itself to work completely against the intended purpose.

[quote=“Ashley Christine”]
One way in which I would like to relate this to FIRST is that * But I really think more students should be able to step up and take initiative in FIRST and strive to get things done.
Agreed, but with students being shoved out of the way, it should often be the job of graduating upperclassmen to delegate who should be leading the club, so a legacy of power can be maintained, allowing for the maintenance of a leadership.[/quote]

On a related but somewhat different note, a wise person once said, “That which does not kill me, only makes me stronger.”

The tallest blade of grass may indeed often get cut first. Yes, the individual who tries to push forward in a positive manner may have their ideas shot down. And yes, much of this is due to the media emulating an image of conformity and a negative attitude toward any straying from the status quo.

Let us take this thread as a reminder, though. Those individuals that try to advance the well-being of the situation must always remember that they have to persevere, because doing so can only make them stronger. This strength, in turn, can help them express their beliefs to their peers even better. Their peers may laugh a little bit more - eventually, though, they might actually process the thoughts that are being conveyed to them, and, themselves, feel competent to do something, too.

The most successful movements in history have started with one or few individuals. Look at what Gandhi or Susan B. Anthony accomplished, for example - they were in the same exact situation as some of FIRST team’s students may be in, today. They had their ideas shot down. But eventually, they gained a voice in their surroundings. They found people who felt the same, and empowered them.

Human nature makes people realize, “Hey, I believe such-and-such, too. I was scared, but look at this person over here, he/she is expressing their ideas. Hey, wait a minute, he/she is only human, too. I can do that if I have the will to, everyone had to start off somewhere, right?” This is where the whole FIRST deal comes in again. I = inspiration. While the adults definitely do inspire their teams, the students have the ability to inspire their peers to express their ideas, as well.

So yes, I have to agree with the anonymous statement that I quoted. Actually, I would like to modify it to read, “That which does not kill me, only makes me and those surrounding me stronger” - because indeed does it help indirectly help others to see that they, too, can make a difference.

To add to Bharat’s definition of a leader and add to what I had said earlier - I believe that a leader is someone who is willing to embrace what others have to say, regardless of whether or not what is voiced coincides with one’s own opinions. A leader stays open-minded at all times, allowing others to step up.