Teaching self-defense to young women in her late twenties, Rosalind Wiseman saw a world she never expected; one where girls and young women would destroy each other. Not physically, but emotionally and socially. And, it wasn't okay with her. So, she stepped in, started to listen - really listen - not to adults, but to the young women, then all kids, and began to build coalitions in an effort to create better ways to be with each other. That eventually led her to write Queen Bees and Wannabees, a book that stormed onto the scene, rattled people to their core and started not just a conversation, but a global movement.
Wiseman has since devoted herself to helping communities shift the way we think about children and teens' emotional and physical wellbeing. Through her teaching, speaking, curricula which is now taught in schools around the world, and media appearances on relational aggression, ethical leadership, the use of social media, and media literacy, she works with educators, parents, children, and teens to help them navigate the power dynamics that influence their lives and relationships. Seeking to scale the impact of her work to more people, she recently launched Cultures of Dignity, an organization that helps adults in positions of power support the children around them. But the journey has not been easy. And, we cover the highs, lows and in-betweens in today's conversation.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
So in the early two thousands exposed to the often horrifying ways at kids were treating each other rosalind wiseman decided to write a book that eventually was called queen bees,
wannabes helping your daughter survive, clicks gossip
my friends and the new realities of girl world. She had no
idea what would,
and when this book moved out into world, but when it did, it exploded into the public's consciousness reveal-
the pervasive social cruelty, bullying at injustice among kids and young adults, especially focused on girls. It also became a bit of a manifesto for a movement of change, leading her
to develop curriculum and travel the world on a mission to teach parents and educators and teachers, and
unity, leaders and anyone else in a position of trust and influence for kids, how to create environments that foster more dignan
he and shared humanity and along the way. She also did something radical. She invited those very kids and young adults to become advisers and concern
the giving them a genuine voice and developing the programmes and the curriculum and the idea
that truly resonated with them. So now, as the founder of an organization called cultures of dignity, she's on
mission to work with communities to really shift the way we think about young people's physical
emotional. Well being it has not been easy, but she is
added to this and making a profound global impact with her
It is truly making kids and young adults lives better and in turn, the lives of their families and the bigger ripple is the state of the world
so excited to share this conversation with you. I'm Jonathan fields- and this is good life project
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who had been on my radar for quite a number of years deny. Actually,
she's a number crises like she's doing such powerful work? This?
I can understand why this is not in every school around the country and that we're out such great real it actually surly coordinate time at the same time while after they know your on planes, tradesmen, automobiles alla time. Also now I wanted I ve
into a lot of the work you've been doing over the last few years and then some of the stuff you're doing right now has take a step back in time, though, and surely trace a bit of the origin story, you're originally from DC. I am, I am originally from Washington d c and I live. There grew up there and then went to college,
in los angeles and then came back, did you see and then was there and bell a life there? You know raise my kids for the first ten years, and I mean
Two colorado, just pull up for its impeach has moved
What was behind them? Well
my husband really didn't like living in d c, and he said you know, put twenty years into this and
I'm really nights
really not connecting to the culture here and he was unhappy
and so we moved me like, took every we had, we had
wonderful community in dc without him out pleasant, made a wonderful community, but we just approved
everything and we moved. Secular colorado was colorado,
place in play every sirleaf looking at different play. Well, so, like a lot of people, you get to a place where you decide. Well, where am I going to go and colorado becomes the place that I mean we're, not unusual, where you end up being in colorado. This is our rg
it is not unusual in the least so yeah, so that in the east,
I feel it's almost feel like it said em. If you haven't been here,
okay. So I could see how that would be one of the five places that are considered to actually come here. Yeah, I have friends who have lived in boulder for years. I dunno if this is local but like one of them said to me yeah, like we kind of consider boulder ten square miles.
Surrounded by reality. Yeah, you see new strategies,
you're out an illegal, a you go yet occidental. What is azure you're? Would you study? I owe pies? I was at a passion.
Georgia. Was it so it was. I always thought I was going to be a litigator or go to law school. You know some kind of I knew I was going to do some kind of advocacy. I didn't know what it was going to be, but I always knew that I was going to do some kind of advocacy and I come from a family of attorneys, so I just felt natural to me
to argue you know and to be to advocate improvements of, and basically
in some ways, there's actually a huge amount of correlation between what I ended up, doing, amd and and political science. So in fact
much of the work that I do is based on political theory. So I just work in the world of young people, so you come out then
at GDC And- and I guess simultaneously with you studying police, I think I'm going to be an activism or law school yeah. You have a side passion, I guess
martial arts. Yes, so
what happened is the way I got there was that when I was in high school, I was in a relationship with a boyfriend that was really complicated and really unhealthy, and there there's lots of reasons why you know he was here.
drug and alcohol issues. I was really confused by all of it and it was extremely unhealthy, and when I got to college I was always a competitive athlete. I was actually play tennis and always hated it pretty much always ate it.
But I play tennis and I went to college and I just hated it, and so I stopped doing it and
always needed to manage my answer to my
energy and all of that kind of stuff noticed part of my day to work out. So a friend of mine,
I'm got me involved in martial arts and assume that happened
I was a sophomore in college that, and I was taken
political science and all of these things started to come together about
empowerment my sense of self and agency, and it just
really struck me that at the time I talked about it in terms of women, I confess is appropriate for everybody that if you ve expiring-
some kind of abuse or violence or just
The woman in this world that have you ve been told that no matter how competent you are, you have to you can't protect
Well, you can't handle that that when you are given the tools
you're able to do that and that
really changes the way that you see everything about yourself, walking down
street in your relationships with people and so
my experience of martial arts was incredibly profound and I am not the only person who said this experience. Both men and women have had this experience and it really hit me very hard, so
It died, obsessive about it. I got completely obsessive about
and it was like the it was the physical outlet that I had always we now looked out for
didn't know about.
So I really involved in it and then I came back to do see after college to get a job and those who are trying to the job and refugees and those those of that
International work- I was really really wanted to do that, but I was shocked it out.
It was to get a job. I was
I was so surprised and it was acting out. A job
I was like wait a minute. This is a ninety one, which is really bad for getting a job. That was a bad time. I came out of law school like just after that, and it was this time where, for lawyers it was brutally hard hard brutally. There was the whole job market was
have taken this really low. Then yes is horrible, and so I freaked out, but at the same time what happened
my boyfriend at the time who is now my husband had moved back to washington with me and,
we, I think the story. I think, if I'm not mistaken, we were at some kind of holiday party and the earlier. This is right, and you know I come
the jewish family of lawyers, and so you know it's not a big deal in my family to get a law degree. It is an enormous deal to get a black belt. It is so beyond my family's culture. It is
beyond. So, when I remember going to these holiday parties and people wait a what what did
You do like what what are you talking about, and it was just so different for add, though in the culture that I grew up in
and so one of the things that happened was that some of the parents asked me- and I was twenty two at the time if I could teach their daughter self defence
and so one of my better and worse qualities is that I say yes to things that I have no idea what I'm doing so. I said yes, yes and my boyfriend
But now we both did it, and we went to this private school that my parents may my brother and sister graduated from, and there were like twenty five girls. It showed up awhile and it was shocking
I was like, oh well. This is easy. I just had you taught anything before that, why he taught martial arts, but I had
our shores. By that point- and
I had my first reebok ballot at that point and
and I went on to get my second degree and then on, but we are really upset. I was really obsessed with how do we get women's empowerment with self defence, and that was happening around?
country, but also the thing that was happening was that I was listening to these young women who are truly like four years younger than I was at the time
I was listening to them and it was a back on. We were and we're still talking about these issues and unfortunately, sometimes the same way about date. Rape and avow, like the rights of women and how to women advocated
solves, and I was really concerned like deeply concerned that we were giving people rights without the competencies in the skills to back up those rights. It was incredibly it felt so naive to me to say in it.
to this day to say you have the right to do it, everyone which, by the way of course, you have responsibilities to other people, but at the same time also, you can't tell people that they have the right to do whatever they want, without them being able to advocate for themselves or be able to take
air of themselves or to be able to have a realistic understanding of this context in which their end and I felt that we were giving girls these things like these sound bites of
their rights were without giving them the skills to back it up, it's a permission without power tools,
and I was completely annoyed by that- I mean are exciting- is dishonest, stating its incredibly dishonest to do that and also just
wasted time basically and you're setting up in this case young women for being able to say like this is what I got without the ability to back it up, and I just thought I was intolerable. So I started listening.
Two girls talk about
what was going on in their lives that we're getting them in situations where they couldn't or were struggling to advocate for themselves in sexual harassment situations and day and dating,
situations and relationships, and I started really
listening to girls, and it really started to hit me that the experiences they were talking about also very much had this hidden thing in it, which is that they were very focused on.
how other girls were seeing them in those situations and that they were and then the more girls could support each other, the safer they would be and if they didn't feel that support what was going to happen and then my brain just when they were just want war
what wait a minute, and I literally, I think it was six months later
Listening to this, we started a nonprofit with my husband and one.
to do the work I was doing for all different kinds of girls, and so I started working and team
programmes and public schools and private schools all over
area and just everyday. I would go to these schools and I would teach- and I would make lots of mistakes and the girls would look at me and be like now you're now now now and then some schools said you know cause. This is back in the day when we didn't have like really codified. Programs like this are like oh you're, you're, good with young people. Can you go talk to our boys about sexual harassment
yeah. I, like ok fans and I really start listening to boys and I thought okay, we ve gotta be able to figure this out and we ve got to go to
Isn't he young people and my biggest gas epiphany was? We cannot lecture to young people about their social lives or the decisions that they're making in their social lives or sexual interactions with each other? Without listening to them, first about what their experiences are, I have to listen. First, then, I have to develop the content that I think is going to work for them, but that's not good enough. I have to have them actually critique it and I have to have them keep critiquing it so
We keep looking at them as the subject matter exports of their lives. Then we give them the material that makes sense to them and when
started doing now. That's pretty much,
always done at that time, and even today how unusual that approach? You know I didn't want to think about it. At the time I go literally, it seems
natural to me like. Why would you tell people what to do when you haven't listen to them first or why would you not have young people critique what
do it literally didn't occur. To me to do in any other way, subsequently
I have found that it is extremely rare to do that. We are still lecturing young people, social media. Are you kidding me? We lecture young people,
constantly about social media, and yet we dont ask them what their lives are alike on social media. So it's actually stole incredible
Rare to have young people really be part of the conversation as we craft what they need, and that's different, for example, than like
focus groups for young people, because, oh we know we're going gonna write a book or we're gonna, do a program or to do focus. Groups for endgame and people in room were to ask their opinion. While that's extracting information from them. That's not
asking them and of and acknowledging them as the expert that they are to craft with you with the content of what you're doing I mean focused groups,
says her lick notoriously skewed because there did as
whether that kinda, like eighty years old bait and there's like a script running your head. This is what they want me to say.
And like let me give them something that creates a good dynamic in the room and validates whatever it is that they're looking for rather than this ongoing conversation that says, know your voice actually matters and if we're wrong, tell us exactly. Do you have a sense of the fact that you came from camp
Wheatley outside of this world of academia. Answer like studying and stuff like that, allowed you to come in and do something radically different in a way where, if you had come up through surly quote the system it it, it wouldn't happen that lie yeah. Unfortunately, yes, I was talking about with two colleagues of mine who have lots of
letters after their names, and they were laughing about that exact issue that I never ever would have been done. What I did if I had been in academia, which is incredibly sad, that academia wouldn't give that kind of flexibility, but you
absolutely you've hit it on the head, and I felt I it was really really been a struggle for me. You know I did a program when I was about twenty five for a year like a certification program
at harvard road go up once a month and do programmes in and learn, and things like that. But you know: I've been
I have been trained and certified in all different kinds of programs from trauma to to know young people on depression and curriculum things like that, but I have never gone to graduate school for any of this.
Never I don't know my phd out of any of this and its it has been a source of like oh gosh got. You know
how can I, how? How do I have the ability to do this? Because now I teach teachers, that's really right and oftentimes people introduced me as doctor. Wiseman like I am not doctor, weiss,
There is nothing in my via spats that I'm gonna get caught for lying. When I really have lied about viruses that somebody has to give you an honorary somebody gave to me as I outlined redonda. Why? Yes, yes, yes! So I ate some. So it has been a point for me of my oh, my gosh like I really. I should have gotten my graduate degree, but at the same-
and I have suffered as a result. There are, I mean in some way, is right, there's parts of the world that don't want to listen to me, because I don't have a graduate agree. Absolutely there's them
we're kind of established kinds of educational? There are parts of this, the world that I work in that are not interested in what I've I've done. Because of that reason, but would I sacrifice the fact that I actually have a body of work
It is based on something I'm incredibly proud of, based on working with the young people from,
all over the world, all different kinds of demographics. That is a constant in constant motion that constantly reflects young people's experiences. I mean it's a sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice worth taking.
yeah and at the end of the day, you know if you're
if the thing that you're really in this forum is to make a difference
then, ok, so I guess it's juggling act over time. Article K, so I could go back and anger,
the phd and do that, but the five to six
It would take me do that if I was just heads down developing an evolving correct,
women out there in the world and training training training. What is the comparative difference you of how
We spend those five or six year, oh my gosh, a hundred percent and also in my car,
here was, as I is non profit for a long time, and I made like five hundred dollars a week great
I was really really tough times, and I mean it was great. It was passionate is awesome. I worked with amazing people
this amazing organization. It was amazing and I'm making like four five hundred dollars a week,
it's so this thing happens where I decide
I had written a book when I was like twenty five called defending ourselves,
and it was all about self defence, but it was also my experience with publishers where they are
and you where you actually know the demographic better than they do, and they don't listen to you about that. But I had that experience
and I mean it was fine- it was a lovely little book very early nineties and my hair is absurd. On the back of the thing it's like wow, wow yeah.
And so then I percolated and really was in what you're like my head, was down working and for the next five to six years, where I was doing all this work with young people and then what happened as I write this you know I write. I have. This
hidell in my mind this queen bees and wannabes title and
I eat. When I'm doing this, I also start having children. So at that point, I'm thinking well. Okay, graduate degree. How do I I can't there's? No way there is no way
I can do this, and so I made a decision which was you know, work. Eighty ninety hours week have children have your career
take a really weird turn and I just go for yeah
when the scream. So you have this idea in your head, reclaimed wannabes the book actually come that two thousand to it ass right out,
along with that concept and and the book idea percolating like what was a window between when you're like. Oh, this is a thing.
and it actually goes out into a single question, so I was thinking about it. I was thinking about it. I was thinking about
that I do, and I actually I had had an agent for defending ourselves and I gave her the idea. I'm not quite sure. I can't quite remember when I did, but she turned me down, and that was a bad decision on her part for her,
I I mean I've, I've. I've looked back on that and then like, oh and I wonder what that must have felt like, because my agent
you know you never know when some he's gonna be successful and you never know why, like truly like I'm not taking away from my work to say, and you d really
No, why am I had a good titles, the twenties, only publishers who passed on Harry potter right even ass. They were in that's a huge rag, embarrassing, but but you know you do.
Never know, and you never know my some incentives, successful you really down, and so in any case, so I had found another person to represent me. I had it
hard on my desk for a while, I mean like a year and I kept thinking
yeah. I really need to do this. I really need to do this. I just need to sit down and write a book that imagines like what you're what adults need to understand about their daughters' lives, because they don't seem to understand it or they seem to forget,
you know my life really changed at that moment. I mean that really was like a demarcation.
No idea. I was so involved in the work that when I finally got the proposals-
other, and I remember going round to the publishing houses and everybody, like everybody. Matt Lewis was like we want it, we want it, we want it, we want it. Most of these. People had teen girls too, and they
just there so much interest in it, and I had no idea. I had no idea why I had no idea about any of that. I was running a non profit, making five hundred dollars a week a month if that
and you notice
I remember I verily remember coming home to my
an apartment in new york and hearing that there is a bidding war on the book and that read a mouse crown had bought the book they dont like a prey
Dave bid at my age and call me in saying that this does not happen, and I remember walking into her apartment and literally just like collapsing onto the ground, because I just couldn't believe that this had happened. Adjust could
believe what was it? Why couldn't you? I don't know? I haven't having spent years seeing like the vast volume and depth of the pain that was at an end and the lack of connection now was it that you couldn't believe you like a book deal that the
oneself was ready that it was that people were validating. I mean it's a good question. I guess I have for a lot of I it a lot of things that seem obvious to me or I or not. You know I have lots of experiences.
like I get confused about, I was just so in it. I was so in it that I I didn't even I couldn't even
I don't know it just seems so obvious to me. At the same time, I get to see that all of the sudden it was obvious to us
people cause- I was talking about it. I definitely is talking about it and people would get really can well do things would happen. I will talk about this work. I was doing about girls and then two things. One would be that somebody would start talking to me about their experience of. Like me,
school, which will go on for a really long time like whether, like you cathar, you know, cathartic moment of
my gosh. I remember- and they take tell me your name and all this kind of stuff or they would we completely mystified by
and have no idea what I was talking about, and so I dunno I just I just remember feeling like how I may be it's a little bit of both ray of like how could this be happening to me and
damn while people are finally getting what montana,
about maybe that was the combination of it. I just it was absolutely shocking to me-
yeah. It's almost it's almost like external validation at scale
with money behind it and when truly like things, things were rough.
like no joke like running a nonprofit,
as a young woman is really rough, and I part of it is sexism at the time
am I dont know about now, but at the time most of on the outside man looked somewhat successful, but most of the foundations were run by women.
And I was getting grants that were like five thousand dollars. Ten thousand dollars for like one
I am in my mail. I had a lot of male colleagues who are my age, who are starting nonprofits to around the same time and they were getting way more money way more money.
More money. Multi year they just were taken so much more seriously than I was, and the majority of the people that were making those decisions where women have lost unpack there among them yeah.
item, feelings about that. It is up to him with a smile of ashes just having just below.
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you when you actually you get you get it the apartment collapse. You realize you ve got a deal,
with a situation like that, nearly generally that that means,
real money on a level that you had been struggling for years to support the foundation had. Is that change what you feel your kids,
the ball of doing time. Such a written question that once things
If that happened, it's so complex because well, first of all I mean I'm
I have to work on the book now right because I've sold the book and I only had one title and alive ozal I've thought about poland. Will there was no book there's one chapter
the tide. All there is now line,
I had to write the book and-
So now, what I'm doing is I'm probably twenty, nine thirty and I'm running the nonprofit, I'm pregnant with my first child, and
writing the book so and then my first child Elijah was born in december, and I think the book was due. I mean I just remember the first four or five months of his life. I am writing in between naps, his napping now my napping,
and so I'm trying to balance these things as much as I can, which of course is a ridiculous concept and so
what was easier was that people in my world knew that I had a
book deal and I was writing a book, but they didn't, but nobody
had any idea that it is going to become this enormous thing, and I certainly didn and
so we just I saw what we did. It really didn't immediately impact what we were doing it didn't it just it. I was just focusing on the work and trying to get just get through the day right and like sleep for a couple of hours.
so for you it's unless I get it adds another substantial burden, our huge fusion
I mean it's gotta shift allowed thus or coordination work into mortar
internal generative create yes, absolutely, I'm absolutely you got a newborn and isolating goes on. I haven't you weren't. It was a tough time. I mean it. Was he a thank goodness? Oh, I shall wait there. As you know, one of those little swinging things
he really really that satellites. Thank goodness for that, but it really was. It was this enormous
creative time and it was very internal and an eye. He looked back on it with a lot of fun us in some ways, because
I didn't know how complex for better and for worse the success of this was going to be raised. So I was just doing this in this very in this bubble of creation, and I mean, if anything, you look back on the book that you had done couple of years prior as okay. Well, that's my tracks.
record so like he can't really project power and, like you said, the the publishing world is kind of the wild west,
we're screwed says you are brutal. I mean I knew by that point that I needed to work in partnership with them, and so what I did do cause
being the native washingtonian than I am like. I knew that networking was incredibly important, so the other thing I was doing what I was going to every single association that I had had connection with by that point and was making connections at them about hey. This is happening. I'm doing this. You know
I'm doing I'm working Morecambe working on doing this, so I was really not working as this was happening at the same time. You know
and that that was something that I really honed and really focused on in that really really helped me when the book finally came out yeah so than
the queen bee someone be such a man, ass, nickname the other thing that often happens in the publishing. Where did you come in with a name? You want area in the publisher at the end of the day, has control
especially when yours are younger your careers, not an they, can change to cover the title pretty much anything he was
I'm curious. Was there any internal dialogue or so there is no dialogue about the title. Nobody ever
It was like that's a great tidal, wave and tidal, but there was a lot about the cover and by that point is I had had a lot of disagreement with my first publisher.
I think I was right about what the cover should look like. I had a lot of opinions about that and I I just kept saying I know the demographic. You don't know that
graphic. I know the demographic and by that point I could also give it.
To the girls that were helping me write the book and say what do you think about this, and so it wasn't just me being the difficult author. It was no actually, I have seventy five girls who are saying to you yeah. They want to see this. They want to see that I mean the first cover was just ridiculous: just protect
leslie nineties. It's just so like the girls. Have these big all have they look like nirvana from like nineteen eighty nine, its adorable, but there was no racial diversity on the cover of the book, and I couldn't stop that. So it was a second time round with a much better job,
so I've, never really the covers up his really hard. It always is an yeah you
power when you're successful author, but it's a tough one. It's always a tough I'm yapping in
space also I it's always such an interesting dance and the power dynamic. Constantly shifting everytime you go back to the table to have a conversation should the book comes out, two thousand and two it becomes his
It's literally global phenomenon. Does that happen right away or is it more like a slow know? It happens right away. So in about six weeks before the book came out and the new york times Sunday maggie's
did a cover story on me and the issue and they put in I'm the profiled person
in it, and my life literally changed when that came up the day that that came out my light changed I mean by that point. I had already been
but can come out yet. I had already been on Oprah twice. I was
the media to starting to be like a talking had, but nothing changes. Your life like being. In my experience like being on the cover than short times magazine,
and being the subject of that cover story, and so that change
for a lot of different reasons, but all the setting of a sort of like the graduate school they didn't go to it. I was sort of like going to graduate school
you get that everyone's. I go, you don't argue and they haven't phd
exactly which would you prefer exactly? We got like these guys for like two minutes so, but not for two minutes. I mean for awhile so yeah. That was the shift. That was the huge shift and that's when things got complicated. How so
Because everybody thinks you're way more successful or way have way more money than you have people get jealous people.
tat. You know it's weird, it's weird to be to be the subject of something like that.
I was you know the I it was just a lie. There was a lot going on like age. You just become the subject of, and the spokesperson for
this issue, and so now now I have that comes out, I'm still not getting any sleep with care.
I'm still running the nonprofit and I'm handling, maybe twenty twenty five media calls dave like this in the book hasn't even come out yet so
there are six weeks and between the magazine came out and when the book came out- and so I publisher of course, was like. Oh,
the moon? They were over. The moon. I was just
yes to every right. Exactly I was just trying to keep up. I could not believe what was happening. I just couldn't. I couldn't live
What happened here says I from that day or kind of holding on for dear life at exactly, and then it becomes out six weeks later,
flows into the scene and I'm getting than just the spotlight piles on it.
Magnified dramatically. What did so there's a couple
it is I daresay taking away from personal time, there's the managing all this new stuff coming at your side of things with the blender
the publicity or getting and the message about the success of the book in the reach of the book. How does that change? Not as your personal,
in january of what you're doing on a day to day basis, but also what's possible for
message that you had the program you on developing, it's just my goodness.
The reason that I'm laughing about that is because the complication with cream
some want to bees and the subsequent book. I wrote to couple several years later,
mass rising way? Man is that I find it helpful to label behaviour and, to my words, to things that people don't put towards. I'm always looking for.
how to do that? How to just make things that we all know to be true to be able to talk about them more easily, but so that's been a real focus of mine for my entire career. So one of the
All of that is coming up with these labels for social dynamics of girls like queen bees or bank
yours or please or want to bees or our and- and I did it with boys as well with boys, helping me and its helpful to a point, because human beings naturally
with slight people's united behind our analyze writer. You say you don't write you, they re railway exactly, but I
always saying in every subsequent
in addition of windows. I try and do it much more to the point I was
saying this is a label to understand one's own behaviour or the behaviour of other people around you. But you are not stock
this one place in one label for your entire life and it's not helpful to go around and say, like oh she's, that she's that she's that she's that because it's a way of not
at own behaviour and one of the things that was really frustrate.
to me. It was one of the reasons I stopped even talking about these labels, ironically, like of have this book called queen bees and wannabes, and if you have me come to a parenting, you know lecture, I'm not talking about that and the reason is because pair
and were so focused on.
Well now. I understand this girl that I dont, like that's a friend of my daughter's, would mean to my daughter, she's this this in this and- and I thought it was so frustrate,
because I wanted people to be able to understand behaviour so that they could do, they could have more agency over themselves and be able to speak in ways that they could be taken more seriously by other people. So the more you understand yourself and the power to
surrounding the better you're able to do that. So, and that's really did
and it was also really difficult and understandably difficult for we're talking about academia for people and academia.
Because what I was doing was, I was varies,
very and and very reductive ways. I was simplifying behaviour and that doesn't do justice to the
laxity of people's behaviors and motivations, and it also went up against. I totally agree with us that it gets a gay there's. A fine line between being able
see, girls, behaviour this way and also be able to superficial eyes. Girls behaviour not take it seriously.
And so, and that was really something that for better or for worse, that was happening with with this work was that people were is some people saw the complexity of it and it really really help,
really help them, and I was so grateful for that and then
think that in some ways it was you know,
I remember going until a walmart and seeing a queen bees backpack, and I just you know I was like that's thrusters, that's just not what this is about.
Oh right, I mean I saw it like. I would see t shirts of like my daughter's a queen, be like that was a good thing to be like okay. Well, that's not cool
I know- and it was really was site for me and then it was understandable that news
something that labels, people and people don't want to give it the complexity that it still yeah it's
Yes, the outside the downside of having something like that is, on the one hand, it is still there
and supervisor on a level where you can have all the sudden like these, that the core concepts enter the public conversation
It becomes part of his eye, guys and millions more people actually having haven't conversations, which is a good thing, but then on the other side
their missing a level of nuance, which allows you to really get to a deeper set of sir lake observations,
behavior changes and resolution and unlike really make a difference, works
to me, the right stuff in their about racism and homophobia and classes, and all of this stuff.
People were asking me about that, and, and so it was, it was just this stuff on these labels, and so I was wait a minute, there's so much going on here. That contributes
how girl show up in the world that we need to look at
understand, and so it was it. You know it's just been a real thing for me to negotiate navigate their since its come out.
so, how does that yoke is near worsening hundred thousand nineteen now? So this is seventeen year since then, and there
a whole lot of new stuff that you develop a that after that comes out,
and you're, seeing how is actually landing watch
response to that. You know he had months or a couple of years into it, and you see this pattern repeating
you then say: ok, how do we harness the best of what's been created by this
and redirect it, so we can now take it to the next level answerer like not just how
conversation lock into us early, these reductive terms that people seem to keep reverting back now. So I think my commitment is to have young people
instantly review and could take my work, and so I throw out I let go of things constantly. I just throughout
thing so in queen bees and wannabes there's this thing called fruit cup girl, which I loved had a deep affection for a girl, because it was this moment when I was teaching with the sixth grade girls and one of them admitted during class. Was this big wonderful moment of like vulnerability and all this where she said that she'd gone to a field trip, and she there was a lewis at lunchtime and she couldn't figure out she wants. She can figure out to talk to this boy, so she pretended she couldn't open her fruit cup
so that you go over the boy and asked to obey. Have africa and there's this? We just did this whole debate and this was so wonderful and it was so fun and so great and it was so actually wonderfully feminist
mazes like these twelve year old girl,
are sitting there talking about self agency around a fruit up and what you give up and when you gain in them
when have I'm pretending, I'm not as competent as I am, because I want to be able to connect with somebody someone to fall back on these stereotypical tropes of women's incompetence right. They are twelve years old and they're talking about this. It was such a great such a great moment, and so I love fruit cup girl, and so I'm do it literally
like a couple months ago, come on we're not maybe a month ago I have these highschool into a high school editors. Org.
through some the lesson plans that I do and had kept. It in there for one thing and all of them all of them, said that it was
added and had to come out and it was
had it was so sad,
it's like that really girl and but but they're the experts, and so I very it took me a couple of days. I had to have like a little thing. I got rid of fruit cup girl, there's no more fruit cup
because I had a group of young people. Look at me like that. You know young people give me this look. Sometimes
ah you know,
And we like you and that you're doing you're doing your best and you really have to stop doing this. One thing that I see,
I do so. This is another curiosity. I write because when you start you're in your early twenties yeah and, like you said and you're way back in the day, were sort of like transitioning martial arts
it also Yemen's empowerment need this early, so you're not achieve that far away age.
Eyes, oh god and girls, but over overtime over a couple of decades the age differ.
georgia and rigour and beggars over this at some point like in the early days as I did the ok relabel year like you, I would then like theirs.
We like this moment where it's kind of like ha offer its
yeah. I remember turning thirty six really distinctly unthinking, I'm twice as old as the signor girl kit, young people. That I would
what's right, and so, as these years have gone by you're like oh, my gosh, like oh, my gosh, I'm so like oh, my gosh, I am so not them right and I clearly am not them, and
and so it's a may, I think, about alive
and there are times when I do feel like do. I have the right to be in a position that I mean basically and
The only way that I feel that I have the right- and this goes back to
when I was saying earlier, is that I really felt like I had to stop being the talking head and
no just running to an interview and saying what I thought was true, because it is so
point when you become a talking had. It is my experience at least that you lose the contact that you have with your source material. Basically,
and I just felt like a mirror member at one point being on a morning show- and I was on about something- and I thought to myself right right before, like the little red light went on, do I've
I'd be talking about this. Do I know what I'm talking about like who white young person? What group of young people have. I talk to that gives me the right to speak about this and I couldn't come up with any and I was it really
It really hit me really really hard, and so it was not moment was really a start of like what am I here to do.
And why and amend so that goes back to your question about as I
older. If I'm feeling
I am in contact with an immortal point more in relationship with young people. Then I feel that I have the credibility to be tabled in
in some way to be able to represent them,
and even more importantly, to be able to look for ways to give them a platform to be able to speak for themselves. Does part
involve with your current were or in the plans putting them forward
as representatives I spoke to people and advocates for their own communities. Yes, and so one of the things like I haven't done this in a while, and actually it's the first time I've talked about this is because it's pretty it's pretty brand now is lads up. A couple of weeks is- and so I you know
I just finished this enormous curriculum. I've had this curriculum,
looking up at him and work on forever. That was us
actual justice. Yes, essentially yeah, it's like an anti bullying prevention program, but I don't like using or bullying, because kids hate that word so I've been differentiate so basically not get too much in the weeds. It was. It went from being this like middle school thing, to being a class to being classes, lessons for grade separated by grades, which is
If fear and education, that's an enormous undertaking was a total slog, I'm actually not quite done.
and but I'm really really really really close and I've been working on this for the last two years and really like down and
this work and talking to teachers about what they need and what young people need
it and expanding all the social media, s stuff that were giving them and just giving teachers the lessons that they can do. That will not be so intolerable to young people, because this kind of work that happens in schools is he is, I kids, don't like it. They really don't like it. They have good reason to not like it like high boys and girls. Talk about your friendships, men, that's awkward and weird, even under the best of circles.
It says so I've been doing that like intensely and then I thought about three or four years ago, three or four years ago, at twenty three or four months ago,
Maybe I'm ready to write something else. So then I thought about it. Like a bug, housing. Let me let me touch
was around for a little bit and then I thought, wait a minute. Wait, a minute wait a minute. I don't want to write a book right now. I work with young people. I want to do something visual
and so what I'm doing- and we just made an agreement with bloom house, the production company, the phone company, the did like olive like get out and us and all those things that they have a document avenues, documentary division
just signed an agreement with them to put together. We have insulted gatt, it's really in its infancy to put together something about having young people come forward about the things that they are dealing with and life. In doing this, the doc you series and
so. My plan is to be on camera but to allow and to really facilitate young people to come forward. So, for example, everything about snitching is actually really complicated issue from this tiniest of
things that your report onto the most enormous of thanks and
Why and why do young people report? What is the world their living in?
this in a school system where school shootings are happening and where young people have the highest of loving anxiety that we have ever seen ever seen,
As we have been evaluating these kinds of things, the report
takes on a whole life of its own there's, an anonymous reporting system that somewhat complicated called safe to tell which does wonderful things and also can be manipulated by kids. So there's a whole world of that
and I want young people to be able to say what that feels like a minute, looks like, as we see it on the news of when something here
trouble happens. Why in anybody say anything? Why did the kids recorded? They didn't do anything about whatever it is. I want the young people to be able to explain the world that their living in and do it in a visual medium. So that's what I am actually just
to start working on that sends amazing. So it's it's really about
shooting a medium in a format and a channel that his native to them.
and people and also allowing them
or like sharing their voice. It's really about educating adults, it is but
in a way: were young adults actually get to do it in serbia
it's native format, to them and most comfortable awkward, and I guess probably that in a way that they can feel that they'd be most honest, absolutely and I mean we could do. Why are so many things we could do but, like you know, memes,
just the concept of memes means are not like in some ways they can be really stupid and silly and whatever but means actually can be hugely political action
tremendous amount of meaning. Like eighth grade boys, we don't usually associate with a tremendous meaning and profound depth of thinking the
It can have very deep maims about the way in which their,
unity with each other group tax of boys.
I want to do it just as a show on group, tax and boys, because that is their place. Like boy young people are always trying to create a privacy in the public,
fear of social media, write em it. It's like the most public places, but they're always trying and doing pretty well sometimes occur
in privacy within those spaces group taxed for boys,
are intensely intimate like who they lead into those groups and what they're saying in those groups and the freedom
say what they feel and in all different kinds of ways like that's huge and most parents have no clue that that is as important in boys.
Worlds as it is yeah. In fact, I would almost imagine that most parents feel the exact opposite like put your phone down or go hang out with these people, like you, know, you're for sure. Instead of having a dozen like kids on a group tax, they just go somewhere be face to face, and- and yes like, I can actually
the benefit of that and I can see you later, but at the same time
and this is why so funny could have had so many conversations
around here people on the age of twenty five,
lay and the reliance on technology as a social mechanism and fifty three people, my
kind of like it is the worst thing in the world. I can understand it like, because reading grow up, it's it's not.
It's not in any way serve part of our experience
where relate relate to other people. We only see the downside of it, but,
similar to you, I mean
there is so much upside there is there so much potential, the harness technology and social technology and something as simple as group tax for real good
and I think we need to be
actually have young adults surely show us that without
surly showing us what's in the truth: tax, oh yeah, an actual demonstrate that there is a great, not just mean lazy, we're not just nearly wasting time or not just or like ignoring the world around us, but this
what sustaining us sometimes to mass of anxiety leading to depression.
and this is what actually making us remotely. Ok,
That is a message that all folks, like me-
We need to hear yeah we do. We need to hear a lot of things actually
I mean I I am so
what does he say like whether what else you fellows my seeing my actions are at last, that ok, I mean my big one,
which had been working on significant
for the last oh gosh mean, for my whole, my whole career, but I've just gotten much more focused on it. The last couple of years
is this difference between respect and dignity?
how much young people are being that the word respect is being manipulated, so schools love to use,
word, respect and adults use to you, love to use the word. Respect and respect actually is across the board and all different kinds of cultures. This thing of respect your elders right, that's just what we do and
We are listening to this, like. I really want you to hear me: I'm not saying like don't respect your parents just off the bat rate or don't respect your grandparents, your teachers or police officers, that there are things like that politicians, but that
issue. Is that respect? What would it
actually means is to admire someone's actions and the position
they have because of those actions. So in latin, it means look back and admire someone, so that's where it comes from and it
imperative to be able to acknowledge that people who are in positions of respect you
their position to get away with abusing power, and yet we all,
the experience of having to show respect to someone that we don't respect and its enraging and young people have this experience.
then at any part of your life. That is, when you're going to have that experience and especially if you're a person of color, and so it is imperative. There are all these people, young people in this country who hate going to school. They have
the reason for hating going to school. They can't see the relevance of,
their learning and there
adults who are using their position to go after them, and then there's other well meaning adults who don't know what to do when they see those adults do that there is good reason,
then why young people dont like going to school,
What we say to them, you have to respect us. You have to respect us, you have to respect us or
another way like if you're in seventh grade and a group of kids go after you on social media, unjust, horribly, humiliate you you go to
teacher- and you say or an adult- and you say, like these kids are doing this to me. It isn't.
my reaction from a teacher, even one who goes to like teaching college where they were
say you don't have to
so this child, but you do need to treat them with respect and when the child here
That is why why
I have to do that. They're, making my life miserable they're, telling me to go, kill myself your time, you have to respect someone who's telling me that I have to kill myself and so
disengage. Is the child and it makes them feel like adults, have no clue what's going on and when it happens with adults, were you talk?
adult doing that to you and the adults, the other adults it you're going to says well there and adults who have to respect them. It is in raging, it isn't raging, and it also
for young people makes them silent about the abuse that there that they are experiencing. So me,
The reasons why the church are religious communities have been so as an people within those religious communities and so effective at abusing young people or coaches
teachers or any adult who's been with who's been with children one if they are going
these children, one of the most important reasons why they can do it is because of their position of respect
His young people know that you can't go up against that and so and it doesn't have to be
actual abuse. It can be psychological and is psychological abuse, emotional abuse, humiliation. We think about a coach whose
dreaming at a young man who don't care how big he is. You could look like you know it could be six foot eight, I don't care and a coach is screaming at the sky. This kid,
and if this young man it looks away because he's
screamed at which, by the way and their brain development images, human beings don't like being screamed out to two inches away, but in their brain dead
What meant they literally are in a fight or flight mode, so the young man is doing everything he can in that moment and is like seventeen year old, all sixteen year old self, and he looks away right from the coach as he is.
Being screamed at and not looking,
is being seen as defiance. That is insane and adult use that
then go and discipline or excuse me punish young people for the four disrespect and defiance against adults. We do
understand nor wisdom. We don't understand, or one acknowledged, the hypocrisy of our behavior. So for me this word of respect
is so. Co opted in schools or with young people that it is a way to make them comply with what ever,
stop situation there, and so instead, like that's the bad part, the good part is,
use the word dignity to be worthy and it's a given sector.
I say to a seventh greater hey that is horrible, that those kids are telling you that you don't worry friends of those goods and you don't need to respect their actions, but you do needed.
Them with dignity and dignity means to me that you don't go after them or you don't that's her that lets figure out how we can do this now. That's not the perfect perfidy answer. I've had a young person come up to me,
and that I've been working with and said, you know, I don't even know why should treat a teacher with dignity who like gave me a humiliating nickname and then let all the other kids humiliate me with that same nickname in class for the whole year. Why should I treat that person with dignity?
the answer answer to that question. But at least we have to have the conversation-
I must say, come respect has earned, dignity is born. Exactly respect is earned, it always has been.
Then the other things really empowering is that it looks the same. It basically looks the same and when I say the young people, especially ones, have been like really hate school.
and are seen as like you know, sort have authority problems that can stuff. Is that if I say to them hate look, look
showing some one dignity and showing some respect actually looks quite some are on the outside. But you know in your heart that is totally different, because I'm telling you that you dont need to respect the actions of an adult whose abusing power, but you do need to treat them with worth less.
figure out? What that looks like you, hey it's johnny
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I mean it
going about it. It feels like greece, respect is about.
In addition to circulate being earned and being born. That respect is about behaviour, dignity as about humanity. Exactly
bout, acknowledging the fact that somebody may be
doing behaving in a way which is slightly offensive,
and underneath all of that there is still a human being who may be suffering profound ways who may be dealing with their own things, hoo hoo,
has some level of self worth. But yeah, I can
I can see how, if you're
and treated in a way that
is abusive- that is horrible to then say: okay, let alone at noon. There's no way can respect that person
because it's just the behavior so not validated or two then look at the.
a person who is like the cut. It is behave in this way
and saying, but you still have to treat
and with dignity is gonna, be so hard. You still have to go searching for wearing.
The humanity behind the behaviour that still makes them worthy of dignity. That's forget about kids, like furred grown a doll,
it's, that is his half rudely hard possess, readily higher proposition? But this is the thing about my love work with young people, because when you actually have these conversations with them, they're like oh, my it's the basically like final.
If someone's talking about this- like- oh my gosh, thank you so much and they like you, have young people who you know who start with me who say: oh, this is going to be so stupid right, like all of the
That is because it because of this that we have to respect people. You have to be kind. You have to be
one the world. Does that mean, especially when people are being horrible to you. So it is imperative that we have these conversations, because young people want to have them and they will come forward and talk to us.
and they will be able to actually engaged in ways that are much more meaningful and they will tell us when they
are going wrong because you know tipp adults are still abusing how people right now I mean, and we ve got like for you.
our assessment super extreme. We have to help
not if you're mine, that is unprecedented unprecedented. It is
gusting. We nauseatingly horrible, we're here.
How can we get a young person to go to school? Who might have
a person in their family or an extended person neighbour. Whatever who has
how been able, because of a weak family structure whatever it is, it is made them vulnerable that their explore
that child there has got to be
teacher, or some one in that school who sees that child who just connects with the child and that is and treat them with dignity
and it's the feeling of being treated with dignity and being seen that that young per
and is so much more likely to go to their mouth teacher, their site
teacher at their school resource officer there counselor that if they feel that way, they can then talk about.
With a little bit more likelihood, they can talk about this nightmare,
they are dealing with at home and that's an extreme example, but it's not something that is, but it is.
Burning, and so we need we'd like desperately need young people to be able to come forward and say hey. I
If you see me so I'm going to trust this adult and I'm going to trust his store because they see me that is life changing for young people or so
do you get those adults to be in a position where they're? Actually they have the skills, the abilities to Amy? I mean cause y'all take teachers, for example a gig as we could
we talk about ever amber every hurt in the area of adults who could potentially play that role than teachers. He ate the
we like the average teacher who is like goes in the profession because, like its noble, they want to help that love teaching very quickly. They find out that there are a lot of
accuracy and complexity around that,
it's already a lot of teachers are struggling just to function within the system that they're in they're, going out of their their own pockets to pay for supplies. They're working tons of hours, just kind of keep up and be there for
purely the academic needs of the kids,
then go to to those teachers or administrative support people within the school essay
a whole mother level of stuff- that's happening in your kids.
you may or may not be aware of it, but it's happening and you could potentially be the person who can
huge, a catholic and then being ok, but you are
I need to make yourself available on a whole different level, and you need to go and and get a a a profoundly different set of skills to play, that role
How do you know it's a big part of your mission? How do you know
Oh she ate the attention yeah, it's a bow, gosh, I'm! U s really
and so that's why I shifted what I did about two three years ago and
I started this company called cultures of dignity with this young man who had is not so
He was getting older
we can who started with me when I was right in the boys book and then quit his job to work with me full time, and then we started this company called cultures of dignity and the right
in his to do is to answer what you are saying, which is to work with teachers to give them the skills, but also to say to them. You do not need to be a counselor, you don't cause. That's you don't need to go back to get a masters in counseling to be able to be a math teacher. It's not we're saying
What we are saying that we can give you some skills to be able to handle when a young person comes to you. So, for example, if a young person comes to a teacher, they're gonna
the person they have the most relationship with right, so they're gonna get
math teacher, they're gonna go to an english teacher, a spanish feature if you like,
children, one of the things that happens to teachers, that they don't talk about, and we think that teacher should be able to do. Everything right is that teach
they can also, if they're, good teachers than there. If you know a child's gonna come to say, hey guess what my families in an abusive relationship or I've got an immigration issues.
A huge, huge issue for us in the last couple of years as young people, terrified of immigration,
it has not met and maybe of themselves, but of their cousins of their moms of their dad and math teachers.
Are taking in, for example, these this kind of anxiety and were now
teaching them how to handle that anxiety. So we are teaching them how to handle. When a young person says to a teacher, he can. I talk to you for a second which is never and be a second,
and they say something like you know. The kids are bothering me wealth,
Usually young people are the very general question, because they're sort assessing out like how you're gonna to and
the answer to that is not all
Let them bother you. It's! Ok, don't worry about it. Just show that you're, stronger person, which are understandable things to say but are absolutely seen as blow off, is to say instead
gosh, can you tell me a little bit more about that, so I have a better understanding of what's happening, so I don't make assumptions and then
They tell you and then no matter what the answer is. You say I'm really sorry that
happening to you. Thank you for trusting me to tell me. Let's sit down and figure out, what's our next steps about this, so it's giving us boundaries for the teachers,
and saying to the young person like I can be in this conversation with you when we give teachers of this is the thing teachers can be.
Really burn out, and they can say things like not one more programme. Don't get me one more program right when I get teach
who come in and there like go
I am so exhausted. I just like you don't want to do anything more, and I might I get it. I totally get it when we give them
with these varies as these scripts and when we give them, but they make them their own. But when we give them these, these things have here's what you can do and here's what you don't have to do. There are some boundaries for you.
You about what you had to take care of yourself jaded.
Nicole, teachers, move forwards,
fast and they're, so grateful and they are like. Oh my gosh, thank you for telling me what I can say to these young
bull and then there there and then we can expand from there
That's what we do is. We are working in all different kinds of capacities with schools around the world right now to be able to give teachers away,
successful and their relationships with their students and in a way that is safe for the for the teachers
creates acknowledges where it, what they're up against
also how to be able to give them away to say. Okay, I've now reach my place righteous can't. I can't do this anymore now.
Need to go to somebody else. We are giving them a blueprint and the path to be able to move forward and were also bringing young people him. So they can be a voice too.
Help, us understand how to do that in the best way possible. So are always looking and working with
We need to figure out how to create places where young people can have more voice and give more of their expertise so that the school is more informed by their experiences
and I would imagine it some is not just about scripting or templating. The moment
it's also about how it's almost like gum, the matron
of the ongoing relationship that you develop, that that the culture that ukraine in your classroom, golly absolutely recovery
there's a guy. I think it was now with michael record on who did this like really fast, nay, study on boys, and he was saying that there, yet they asked the young adults, not the mother.
also, what are the different elements that would make it like most conducive to learning, to actually trusting or teach our learning and by a huge margin, the single
One was that the relationship with the teacher and and because he any yeah he said people always thought boys.
Why relational? They didn't need such a flourishing grass and had I learn and he's like an easy. It is the exact opposite like that. Is the single most important thing and it wasn't. It was across all generous yom.
And I love Michael's, where I met the edge for its roots, so fascinating so actually just to give you like some hope with this. Is that one of the most I'm one of the most successful things that we do a teachers are doing our teacher training and programmes. One of the things we start with is we ask them.
when you were a young person? Might the age of the children that you teach now who was a person in your life? There wasn't any capacity, a teacher that you respected, or you disrespected
and why and so the may give them some time to really think about that. Talk about that even like enron, including like super jaded teachers right who I walk into my training thinking. This can be re stuck
and then we say to them: ok, son! Now
Now I want you to do is think about how did that relationship in that experience of that person inform the way that you work with young people today, and they just need
we just need to give them a lot of time. I mean teachers
at these moments of oh, my gosh. That's why I got into teaching. I didn't even realize that in this moment right I had a tech teacher who
with you saw me every day and I was having a miserable life because, for whatever reason- and it was my place-
It was my. It was my oasis and I oh my gosh- I became a teacher, so it's really
powerful, they just need the time to remember and the negative ones can
to be incredibly powerful too. Of course is many teachers will say. I did teacher humiliated the kids in class and I promised myself I would never be that person these are we
the important experiences that teachers need to remember and then when they remember it gives them a whole. New sense of purpose
and they also remember based on the question to you various too
said a little while ago. What is the connection between academic academic?
but in seas and social, emotional learning and so the social life of young people, and if you cannot create a space,
in a classroom where young people will take the risk to learn, which means to maybe but would be wrong, sometimes that there
disengage, and so actually these things are absolutely intertwined with each other,
if a teacher shows up and sees young people makes mistake like I did
last year the guru seventh grade boys, I made a mistake where I was super sarcastic with them.
it's something really snarky. It was like three of them together and as soon as I said it, I thought I was like, oh god, why did I say that? That's bad! That's bad! That's like exactly what I would. I would always tell teachers never to do and I felt awful about it and I was like I was obsessing about it and I was like how am I gonna talk to them.
I can't make a big deal out of eggs and not freak out and asta it'll be weird and awkward and all that, but I need to do it and so the next time I ran into two of the three of the
I remember, having a moment of nervousness cause. A lotta teachers think that if you apologize, you lose power which actually, of course, is the opposite, so called them
and I always aided teachers and parents. I pretty much all meaningful conversations you can have with kids, especially boys. You can have in like a minute rate if they went talk more great but, like you can pretty much like three minutes tops and don't be yourself. So
I said to the boys, hey, you know that thing I did yesterday where I was talking to. I'm really sorry about that and of course, the boys looked at me
and they said like on an earlier time out and he s
and you at this moment of like a magna repeat this horrible things- that no I'm not right. So
Well, you know. I just want you to know that I feel bad because I feel like I came across as sarcastic and I need to apologize and I'm really sorry about that and the boys went from.
Pretending they didn't know what I was talking about to their whole face and their whole bodies change and said, o cool great,
Fine, wonderful, like no sea in class tomorrow as the whole move.
a whole moment shifted, and I had those boys
being disengaged being way more engaged in the next class, because our relationship was bell with me. Saying hey, I care about you enough to realise that I
realize. I did something wrong to you and I need to take responsibility for them
also model, I mean modeling integrity and responsibility,
somebody who late they very lightly perceive as being like. Well, you know that there's always a front like you and that that is like the type
Behaviour that I would imagine, is
The thing that orange respect, I am to treat them a dignity right entry,
with it's sort related, there's the to bind together as we sit here having this come
the situation we are in the throes of a political season, anna and a climate, not
in the? U s we have listeners from around the world and then it was
this happening all over the world right now, where
anxiety is rammed, fear is ramped and it feels like seville
but and and their recognition
of the humanity of people who don't look and see and believe the things you believe has been greatly diminished how'd. I
you're developing a lesson plans as her like speech, this initial important will water, which bubbling
your mind around this right now who al
you can imagine what I think about betsy devise our educational secretary just nauseating her policies, not eight! May
I'm so I won't do you can imagine. I will say
and did that's just on my on my particular. You know venue home my particular area, and I mean our president.
It was a really really good example of not respecting someone's actions for my opinion and that you need
treat them with dignity and that's a tough one and its rules.
the place of for me about practising what we preach, which I really believe,
so all to say actually and I work in really conservative communities
can really liberal communities and my experience with really conservative communities is there not as conservatives they think they are in a lot of ways and liberal communities are not and progressive communities like the community were in right now in boulder is not as progressive visit thinks it is. I was so it
specifically what I'm doing is creating with cultures, have dignity and some other wonderful. Colleagues in the united states. We are creating
lesson, plans and materials and resources for schools.
The election on the upcoming elections because we were caught fat footed last time. There are a lot of people who got so
sad about the outcome of the election last time, who were teachers and educators and parents, and we abdicated our responsibility as adults to young people. It was like weeks or curled up into a
if the opposition, or we got so angry or we became paralyzed and there
Schools that I was there were a few schools that cancelled classes, and now
were for the teachers and it was for the students after the election
people were so upset, and you know
say I think this is a moment of. We are adults. What is our responsibility and how are we going to conduct ourselves? And now we have to? We really need matter what you think about the who your voting for it.
like. That is how,
are you going to show up in a way that treats people with dignity because it is so easy to have a self righteous temper tantrum? I don't care what pope political bet. You are. It is so easy,
to have a self righteous temper tantrum and it doesn't work because nobody listens to you so might make you feel bad
in a moment but you're being completely and if ineffective. So we ve got to figure out
How to do this? Not because we want to be nice and kind. We need to be effective because you know one of the cliches that
but a lot. My parenting speeches is, it takes a village Tereza child, that's cliche, villages are complicated.
you know of their people and our village, who are can be completely crazy. Our really really disagreements about stuff and do really crazy things, make a really mad and I think, what's happening
the country and I do work overseas, and I think- and I agree with you about this feeling of anxiety, as I think some of our anxiety is about the feeling that our our villages are falling apart and that the foundation is falling apart,
I also think one of the reasons we're feeling so anxious is the way I define happiness is like meaning beyond oneself and a sense of curiosity and meaningful social connection and a place to process and find peace in this world. Our culture is actually
really good at convincing us. The opposite is true for our happiness, righteous focus on yourselves success is getting along money or like a lot of
balls on your social media. So don't
meaningful social connection, all of those things and never find a place to process and find peace, because then you'd really are miserable you're. So it's one of them
reasons why we're so anxious so
we are doing is we are creating content and resources for all different kinds of people to manage ourselves better through this process, because our leaders are not can help us with this there. Not. We don't have a leader that I can see. Who's gonna help
us, with this civility thing, it's gonna come from us saying our villages are losing. We are co,
did losing our minds. We ve got to stop
and then you know where we can start. Honestly, honestly,
and this might seem really weird for people, but for every parent is listening to the thing did states who has it
out and travel sports, I think travel sports and paying first teams for young people is one of the war
things that ever happened to this country. So the worst things as ever happen for our villages.
soon as a dull started, getting paid to teach children and coach children in these teams and as soon as special,
is adidas and under armor and all those places got involved in young people sports this whole
insanity of young people have parents thinking that their kids are going to get division, one this and they're going to and the glory that we got when there are nine years old and we get these crazy ideas in our heads. We are
literally, not seeing the abuse and the bullying that is happening of adults and a bad romani.
That is happening every single day in this country across the
free. I don't care what your politics are. You can be in the most progressive community in this country and you will go to a soccer field, a basque mccord afoot.
field whatever lacrosse field and
You will see a parent or a car
a wrath abusing power to other people and totally egregious ways, and our young people see this every single day.
And none of the adults do anything about it, and yet so
look at the politicians who can blame them for how bad things are. I we can like
start with us. That's actually one of the first
places that we need to start and also young people won't
Hell us what's going on with the coaches that are abusing them or that whatever adults who are miss misbehaving because they're so afraid of the ex
patients at their parents have like they don't want to tell their parents, because the parents going to tell the coach and then they're going to get punished. So this is such a
part of our country. That is like right in front of our face that no
he's doing anything about that. Actually and people are writing about people have written about how horrible
you, basketball, as people have written about you,
mass stakes. Are you kidding me with us, and yet we dont collect
lee and our own lives think about the programmes that we are putting in arch are in getting our children involved in man. The last part of this is because I worry
What about children's safety is that if I grew up,
public school at nine states. I have to go get up my god, a police
you know. My fingerprints are the kind of stuff, none of those programmes,
you basketball. Any of those the hockey any of those things very rarely
like very rarely, and I have not seen- and a system mandate than any of those coaches half does have some kind of background check and yet those because those coaches are with our kids,
the pet like independently their driving them all over the place, sometimes and with it.
with our children alone, and yet they don't have to have any hundred background checks and coaches yell and scream and humiliate our children in ways that a teacher if they were
during that systematically they would get called into the principle
It's so fast that
the system in education at least, does not allow for the humiliation and any emotional abuse of children. Athletics does all over the place. Yannick is bigger, bigger picture
The message is: yes,
really, what were saying on tv is and with certainty that the leaders and, like you said across all parties, were
I think, increasingly horrified and at the same time,
you can almost always find that nearly identical behaviour in our own backyard absolutely and if we feel powerless
do something on a larger scale or me
we focus on a much smaller scale and that's actually the level that we can feel like. Oh
I can only say something or do some like
level. I can make a difference and if we do that at scale now my gosh, I d me rash roots. Having a may imagine if people went to school board meeting and demanded civility amongst the people that were speaking at this moment meeting, I think we could change the country.
you unless it come full circle. This conversation, one of the things you share with me,
Or is that you have been. You know
you're developing all these different things measure creating amazing tools, processes and programmes, ideas you go into the world and help millions of people you're. Also one person.
like also interested in curious about your own personal development and evolution. So so you can kind of
completing a forty walk about a slash fast. Also, lemme tell me to have been the ray. I'm not like a hiking up the mountains barefoot would like,
pack of rocks? And my and my you know now, because I get that happens in this down-
I leave more irritating is like when I'm I'm hiking, and I see people going up and down the mountain multiple times, which also happens here. So I m not
level. Yet, but you know it's been a rough
oh god, it's been an exhausting road. I often feel lake
talking about things in ways that people
it's just been it's just exhausting. No, I'm not going to you know, go around
that it's been really really tiring for a lot of different reasons and frustrating, and you know so. How do I maintain myself through the process, and I have a team of people that growing and it
its extraordinary what's happening with that and in particular in the international school world, we're doing more and more and more work and if it does feel like school administer
Leaders are moving into these conversations with faster and more com,
lay them when I first started out and and others
that social media is young? People are much more engaged with us in ways that never, where possible, we have young people all over the world who are editing our work me. Truly. We have editors and advisers from all over the world who are editing what we do so that's amazing and
at the same time, how
you're asking me about, like so
I've never really had a hobby. I've really been here,
to read like novels and
but I've been working hard for a really long time. So I'm getting ready- and I guess I'm must say this out loud to too much more likely. I will do it is.
my husband make you do that you set you ever that fits so,
yeah, I'm gonna. Do I'm going to do a vision, quest, whereas others, these
wines called the school of lost borders that my eighteen year old son, went to and he was fifteen. Sixteen and my husband went on to a little
cancer makes its eleven days and four of those days are your by herself. In the nature,
not eating anything with like a jug of water. I think I need to build up to that, so
I'm going to go on a five day retreat, which is also our
I'd get I'm gonna washington DC person. I didn't really grew up like going outside, except for like the sidewalk, so I'm gonna go outside and be outside,
and I'm going to you know really take a moment to disconnect and to think about what is it that I went to shop in the world and I
continue to shop around and how
want to with this new project with these young people. How do I mean, maybe that I won't think about this at all, but I want to figure
out how to contribute in the best way. I can to the issues that you raised about where we are in the country and-
how can we be more several because the thing that the incredible gift that I have I am so grateful for this is because I get
go to all these different community is right: rural communities, conservative, conservative communities, super religious communities, people that might really differ with me. Political
but I have wonderful wonderful.
Respectful relationships with those people and I
I respect the work that they do. I respect the things that are how they show up in the world. I feel treated with it.
d by them, and we talk about difficult things, and
and so I have the benefit of being able to go on
the country and be with people that are different for me all the time, and so I have more
optimism about the ability for all of us to actually talk to each other. I don't demonized people because I am I get it. I get to have
experiences constantly with people, and I think that I am
If there's anything, I'm incredibly grateful for it's that, because I just get to talk to people that really disagree with me about things and it's okay. So, as we sit here in this container with the good life project, if I offer up the phrase to live a good life,
comes up. So for me, it's about being courageous to be uncomfortable,
but also knowing when it's too much
to stay in relationship with people, even when its incredibly,
credibly hard, and it feel
we like. If we do that or if I may to do that, and I am able to build the community
Well be able to support me and so
shall be able to support me and be able to do that.
we'll be able to contribute to
community in a meaningful way, and that to me gives
the purpose and meaning in a way that you know, as I've talked about things, have been hard really hard
But it sustains me, and it gives me a lot of faith in a lot of feelings of aachen,
I'm about being able to carry on so
me, that's really wyatt what a good life is. Thank you and welcome
Thank you so much for leslie, and thanks also to our fantastic sponsored, who helped make this possible. You can check them out in the links we have included in today show not stand while you're at it. If you ve ever ask yourself what should I do with my life, we have created a really cool online assessment that will help you discover the source code for the work they are here to do. You can find it at spark a type dot com. That's s! P r k e t why p dot com or just click the link,
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-25.