Markus Gull
Man with certificate and graduation cap throws his arms up in the air

All ones?

"It's the most beautiful time of the year" the sparrows whistle from the rooftops when they see students rushing off on their long vacations while the graduation hats fly into the air at the universities. The falcon joins in with "No more school!". Regardless of whether the year ends with nothing but A's, a re-examination in the fall, even sitting out of school, or finally getting started in so-called real life: now is the time for a vacation. For most people, at least a little bit, whether they're privileged pupils or louts from the first bench.


In the blogcast, I read this recent blog article to you. With emphasis, of course!

Good students. Good teachers. What is that? How can you recognize them? Many will say: "You should recognize them by their grades." By what else? That's why they exist!

Is that the case?

Or should we do what we should do at this point anyway, namely listen to Professor Gerald Hüther, who says: "A good school-leaving certificate is not an indicator of intelligence, but of good adaptability. The real treasure that we should be promoting is the enthusiasm to discover and create, the tinkering, the passion to deal with something specific. "

We all have stories to tell about school and teachers we all have stories to tell Many of them are even funny, at least in the nostalgia-softened image of the rear-view mirror. However, behind the stories about school and education lies another, a poisonous one, whose guiding principle is: "You have to conform in order to be valuable/lovable/belong!" And if not, if you make too many mistakes, you are suddenly a mistake yourself, out of place. The prototype of a BUST. Those who know everything on the English vocabulary test know: BUST means bankruptcy, failure or flop. The clever ones from the New Story Academy know that BUST stands for BUllshit STory, i.e. for those stories that have been spoon-fed to us without reflection for generations and that eventually become our beliefs.

This BUST usually begins, even before the threshold to kindergarten is crossed, with introductions such as: "Be like this!" "Don't be like that...!" "You're so ...!"

Be this, be that, be different, don't be as you are, but as you are expected to be.

Because then ... hm ... then you work. Then you are usable, useful, useful. Then they can get something out of you that they can utilize for their own benefit, regardless of what you really have to offer. Then you become a whirring cog in the human resources machine, in which the human resource generates prosperity for everyone. We can recognize this, in turn, by the fact that we can afford as much as possible and the economy is growing diligently. Well, it is currently doing so at a fairly modest pace. The number of mentally ill people is growing more strongly. I have just read from Dr. Chatterjee (one of the most influential British doctors) that one billion people worldwide have symptoms of mental health problems. Especially young people. Especially those we call the "successful".

What's in the school buffet?

Are we really telling ourselves the right stories here, the ones that make us strong? Or have we been leading ourselves around by the nose for generations, albeit with good intentions?

Is this quagmire the root of the fact that only around 15 percent of people in work still have an inner connection to their job and the large, sad remainder are bending over backwards to do their work by the book or have already resigned? And on the way home from the after-work event, they sing "Hurray, hurray the school's on fire!"?

Is this the seed of the growing and increasingly obvious longing for meaning in our careers, which is reflected in the proliferation of coaching offers called "Live your dream" and "Find your purpose!"?

There's Coke in the school buffet, the poison of the unlived life is served in the classroom. And in the library, the first edition of Maximilian Glanz's "Why individuals don't feel well, even though we're all doing so well" is waiting as a handout for all those who are firmly convinced that Goethe's first name is Fackju.

We are telling the story of school and education completely wrong, starting with the fact that we refer to the official organization of information transfer as the education system.

We don't need to dwell on anecdotal tales of geniuses who failed at school and the success stories of yesterday's university dropouts as today's economic heroes. At its core, it is about nothing less than the image we have of people, the image we have of ourselves.

It is about the great, eternal, never-ending story that is about all of us and describes nothing less than why we humans are here as a species. Or could be.

We are the ones who have to grow in order to stay healthy and can only really grow by creating, improving and healing something. For some, this may take place in their profession, for others in being a parent, some start a business, others repair houses or heart valves. In the end, something is better than before. Then a task has been fulfilled - with each other, for each other. Then potential has been developed, life has been lived, meaning has been experienced.

In principle, there is not the slightest objection to profit. Economic success, a career and a meaningful life are not mutually exclusive, God knows. But we shouldn't confuse or junket them. And we certainly shouldn't measure our own value or the value of others in terms of how we can benefit from them. Because this prevailing utilization of everything and everyone as an outgrowth of instrumental reason, the war profiteering marketing of burning desires, leads to ... see above. I have memorized a sentence by Viktor E. Frankl: "If a person cannot find deep meaning, he distracts himself with pleasure." Or he becomes ill. Becomes destructive. Becomes aggressive.

The NEW STORY sets a precedent.

The story we tell ourselves about school, training and education does not need an update. Instead, we need a radically new story, a NEW STORY. It is no longer about knowledge and grades, but about the development of potential. It is about each person's contribution to something bigger. It is about growing out of oneself, into oneself and beyond oneself, beyond self-realization, into experienced meaning. This is how the trees we plant grow into the sky, even though we know that we will never enjoy their fruits in order to nibble on Rabindranath Tagore's tree of wisdom.

As a spin-off, so to speak, we are retelling the story of teachers. They are thus given back their true task, beyond that of trainers and knowledge brokers: transformation companions. They already recognize in the caterpillars the splendid potential of the future butterfly, even if everyone else sees nothing but a crawling animal. It is probably because Eric Carle shares a great story of hope that "Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt" is so popular: "I think most children can identify with the helpless, small, insignificant caterpillar, and they are happy when the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. I think there is a message of hope in this: I can grow up too. I can also spread my wings and fly into the world. ", he said.

Wherever these practitioners of a teaching profession - from kindergarten and school to training companies and universities - already see themselves in this way today, it is not necessarily straight-A students who enter life, but people who are loving with themselves and loving with their fellow human beings. They have found their story, they have discovered their story, they are on their hero's journey, on which their inner lighthouse shows them the way. Towards self-efficacy and self-empowerment in and for a strong community.

So you don't need to define yourself by defeating others. You don't need to go after others. They don't want to finish others off. They can inspire, approach and empower others and are therefore themselves the bearers of the new story for all of us, which we so urgently need because it makes us strong in solidarity - as people, as a company, as a society.

Can you still hear the song inside you?

"We don't learn for school, we learn for life", children are still told up and down the country. This shows us once again that the stories we tell ourselves and each other are usually both a problem and a solution at the same time. We have a choice of perspective.

Let's do it like John Keating from the famous movie "Dead Poets Society", who said: "I stand on my desk to remind myself that we have to keep looking at things anew." No one can stop us. So let's get up on the tables. Maybe we'll see new sparrows on new roofs and hear an old song. The song of our true history, sung by our inner voice, which gives us courage so that what Henry David Thoreau warns us about does not happen: "Most people lead lives of quiet despair and go to their graves with the song they still have in them."

As we all know, it's never too late for a happy childhood. So maybe you want to use the big vacations to answer the questions about the true value, the why, the what for and the meaning of your work for yourself, your profession, your company, your team or your brand. Or you can go in search of the crucial questions about your mission, your new story, your NEW STORY and, like many, many others, you are about to set off, ready for transformation. To do this, you probably want supportive guidance from a mentor who uses a glowing question mark as a pointer. And if you have the feeling that I could be that mentor for you, I would be honored to accompany you with my NEW STORY programs. A different kind of summer camp, so to speak. You can find everything about it here, here or here.

So when we remember our first and last days at school these days, as the season demands, we probably also think of these or those teachers. The quirky ones, the funny ones, the strict ones, the incompetent ones, the inspiring ones. Hopefully there were also those rare individuals in your history who recognized and awakened your potential, beyond Roman A's and fear of failure.

My grandmother, on the other hand, old Story Dudette, has no recollection at all of her first day at school, about which chroniclers report that she smoked her school cone and then wrote on the blackboard with a quick hand: New Story. New Glory.

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