A Lesson Regarding Pissing Your Pants At School

One day during the first week of AP Psychology class senior year, a girl eagerly raised her hand while the teacher was lecturing. The teacher stopped to call on the student, excited to answer her question on the fascinating subject matter we were learning.

“Um, can I use the bathroom?”

“Yeah, of course…” the teacher replied with a look of confusion, “you don’t need to ask.”

As students, there became a point when we no longer had to ask for permission to use the bathroom. If it wasn’t in high school, it was certainly in college. And most all of us understood this because we saw the transition occur. We no longer needed permission.

What many of us have failed to identify is the point when we no longer needed permission to speak up, to challenge an idea, to take action for a cause we believe in — in the “real world”, at work, and in our own lives. That point of transition passed a long time ago…back when the internet and smartphones became mainstream.

Yet, we’re still sitting here with our hand raised acting like the girl waiting for the teacher to call on us so that we can use the bathroom.

And doing that sucks! What if the teacher never calls on us?!? We could end up PISSING YOUR PANTS in school!!!

If you’re waiting for permission or someone to give you a push — to tell you to keep going or to make something happen — it’s never going to come.

I’ve never met Yasmin Pirbhai, but she is my new favorite person. Why? Because she is the girl, who, instead of raising her hand to ask to use the bathroom, just got up and left the classroom, flipping over some chairs and desks while she was at it.

Yasmin, an 11-year-old from the West Michigan area, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and has raised $30,000 for Binder Park Zoo. She did it because she likes lions and wants to bring a new lion exhibit to the zoo for others to enjoy. Yeah.

Yasmin shows us that we don’t need permission. All we need is the courage to say “Yes, I’m going to do this,” and the perseverance to follow through.

“The best way to get approval…is to not need it.”

– Hugh MacLeod


Questions to consider:

  • What are/were you waiting for permission to do?

Image credit: smartgirlsgroup.com


Originally published at www.awesomeinitiative.org on August 19, 2015.

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