This story happened 2 years ago. That time I was training IT specialists sent by their companies to acquire various certifications – be it MCSE, MCPD or even CISSP. I had a colleague, and she was very passionate about training people to achieve new heights, and once she got a bright idea.
The idea sounds like that – all of our students are established IT specialists, many of them are heads of their IT departments and lead developers. They are very motivated both by their employers and themselves. There is no problem to teach them anything new.
But what if we will train someone, who is not motivated at all? What if we’ll take a group of high school pupils and train them for something simple yet useful – like Windows Vista Administration certification?
Yes, we wanted to train any amount of school kids to get a certification they would otherwise pay hundreds of dollars for. For free and during a week.
My colleague wanted to perform that training at her former state school. She was just 23, so she knew all the teachers and the principal of that school. It was easy to set up the meeting and so we met the principal and IT teacher to discuss the event.
Although they didn’t really got why we would do that, they could agree to host the event using the equipment of IT class. However, it all depended from one question – how much money would they get from it. That is – you know, electricity and stuff – we would pay for that, right?
Of course, we didn’t talk with them afterwards.
The morale of the story is – more often than not, your good intentions, especially when they are intelligent and have benefits which needs to be explained, will be treated hostile and you won’t get well deserved respect for them. Yet another argument of the objectivism theory, which states that we all look at the world through the prism of our perception. And this leads to the necessity to defend your ideas, even if the whole idea doesn’t give you any value. And this means, that having power to do “good” alone is not enough. As more such power you’ll have, as more resistance you’ll face. The irony lays in the fact that you’ll face resistance from those you’re trying to help.