Society is full of reminders that we don’t value the precious attribute of initiative. My theory is that this is because we are too willing to use easy explanations for complex realities.
Schools and initiative
I’ve seen it in particular as a teacher, and I wrote about the impact our exam results culture has on it (all links open in new window). Treating kids in schools like customers in shops sends them the message that someone will always be there to bail them out, when they need to realise the value of taking responsibility for themselves.
Initiative in wider society
We have a problem with initiative more widely. Some examples are merely irritating. Get on the tube in London and you will be bombarded with announcements telling you exactly how to behave. Pick up a cup of coffee and you will be told “CAUTION: CONTENTS MAY BE HOT”. But elsewhere…
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