The Mark Twain story of how Tom Sawyer got his friends to do his work for him, is that of an entrepreneurial young man. He made the job so appealing that his friends were even willing to give him something in exchange for a shot at that worn out fence.
Some would call Tom a con artist. Maybe he was. I think he was simply using common sense. When something looks like fun, chances of wanting to participate are much greater than if it looks like work.
Do you suppose if we made homework look more like a video game, kids would be more willing to do it? Or how about chores around the house? If mopping the floor or dusting the furniture was completely choreographed with show tunes and flashy dances, would we be more willing to do those things? What about team work? Could we use these same tactics to build communication skills and problem solving?
Get out those paintbrushes and mend the fence. If we start working together and sharing the responsibility, maybe we can get through some of the messes of today. It’s worth a shot.
“In America, we hurry–which is well; but when the day’s work is done, we go on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry our business cares to bed with us…we burn up our energies with these excitements, and either die early or drop into a lean and mean old age at a time of life which they call a man’s prime in Europe…What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be, if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally and renew our edges!”
– The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain