Every once in a while a story comes along that is so powerful it changes your perspective.

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.”

It seems like there are two kinds of people that graduate high school. Those that know exactly who and what they want to be, and those that have no clue. It’s not true, but it seems that way. The fact of the matter is that it’s a spectrum and everybody falls on it somewhere. The question really becomes what are we offering as the next step? A large part of high school graduates will be going off to more education but in this country, it has become a right of passage more than training up for a future. Parents feel that they only achieve the good parent seal of approval if they offer their children the right to choose any school in the nation even if it means subjecting their own future and the future of their children to a life of debt. Between the education and the princess weddings, many baby boomers have sacrificed any right to retirement.

Whiplash, the movie, confronts our perceptions of what it means to mentor the next generation. Boomers, having been the generation brought up with a spanking or a belt, embraced a kinder, gentler, more tolerant parenthood, and we may be paying the price for it. The question that Whiplash asked was as mentors, leaders, instructors, professors, do we look at the potential in our protege’s and drive them toward that, or do we assume that they are doing the best they can do and just tell them “good job”.

“I was there to push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that’s an absolute necessity.”


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