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We’re Going To Need A Bigger Attitude Adjustment

| Learning | January 21, 2017

(I sign up for a kayak trip with a camp this year. The participants are all teenagers. The leaders are a guy in his 20s and a woman in her 50s. The guy looks super fit, the woman, not so much. We do some team building activities the first day and a couple of the teens are kind of jerks. The second day, we have to carry our kayaks down to the lake. There are nine of us total so we have to carry nine boats. It takes two people to carry a kayak — at least I thought it did. The woman leader pairs us up and we carry the first four boats to a good stopping point and then go back for four more. Then she assigns the last boat to two kids who’d caused some trouble during the team building exercises. She follows the last boat to the midway point where the rest of us are waiting. We are already tired but the boats have to be moved the rest of the way. The two who had to carry the extra boat, Teen #1 and Teen #2, are grumbling.)

Woman: “Okay, let’s move these the rest of the way.”

Teen #1: “Easy for you to say.”

(The woman picks up one of the kayaks by herself and puts it right behind another one. She then tells one girl to grab the front of one and another girl to grab the back of the other. She picks up the back of one and the front of the other and walks the rest of the way carrying both boats without stopping unless one of the girls assisting her had to. At the lake, she picks up one of the boats alone and sets it at the water’s edge.)

Woman: “Okay. Now you see that I CAN move a kayak. The difference is I don’t HAVE to move a kayak. When I ask you to do something, there is a reason behind the request. This trip will only work if we work together and respect each other.”

Teen #2: “Point taken.”

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