Put some color in your life

This is a reminder about what school (and work) often becomes … and what it can be if we encourage more creativity.

It also reminds me a lot of the movie “Pleasantville”. The metaphor is different, but there are similarities in the use of color.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you really should. The Japanese title is 「カラー・オブ・ハート」and it stars Tobey Maguire, a few years before he was Spiderman. Here’s the trailer. Fans of the “Fast and Furious” series (Japanese title: 「ワイルド・スピード」may recognize Paul Walker, too.

Doing it his way

No, this is not about the US president’s choice of songs for his inaugural ball (or Sinatra’s daughter’s reaction to it).

It’s about a 10-year-old boy in Japan who decided he didn’t want to be “the nail that sticks out and is pounded in” by following societal norms that made him miserable. He decided to do things his own way.

“Japan’s 10-Year-Old Philosopher, Published Author, and Grade School Dropout” (from Tofugu)

Reading this, I sometimes thought he was just being a self-centered pre-teen, and sometimes that he was a lot more self-aware than many adults I know. It’s complicated.

One great debate topic:

“I think schools should be places you can go if you want to. People who like schools can go to school, like my sister. It means school is a good fit for them. So, I’ve never thought about changing the environment in schools. I didn’t “fit” school, so I chose not to go. It’s that simple. What needs to change is “yourself,” not schools or other people.”

I also was not aware of the Rocket Project for Talented Children. It’s great to see programs like this in Japan.

Fail better

This is a bit too black and white — I think we all have a little “Jay” in us, even if we try to be “Ann” as much as we can. But it’s a good reminder to try to see difficulties as challenges and learn to “fail better”.

Making a “perfect” country

my-perfect-country

“My Perfect Country” is a radio program by the BBC (13 episodes as of today, and there will be a total of 14) which imagines how we could build a perfect country, based on the best policies of countries around the world. We could use Japan’s gun control policies, Costa Ricas’ green energy techniques, Peru’s methods of reducing poverty, and more.

The episodes are 27 minutes in length, but there are also shorter clips:

clips

Another idea to add to the list:

“Iceland knows how to stop teenage substance but the rest of the world isn’t listening” (from Mosaic)

Can you think of others?

Although I don’t think perfection is possible in most things in life, a willingness to try to change things for the better is a more beneficial way to spend our time than complaining.