When a student does something that a teacher and/or administrator is required to follow through with consequences, during the process part of the conversation usually entails some version of this question, What did you learn? Often putting all the responsibility on the student rather than all parties involved. It is only when the problem is repeated or ballooned within either the school or real world environment when the whole scenario is looked at often resulting in the administrations fault because they didn’t put together the supports needed to stop the problem in the first place. Take for example the economic decline, at first it was the persons fault for not paying their bills or participating with insider trading, then people may look at what they did wrong and possibly stop however for various reasons the actions continue if not expand. Then it starts to be the companies fault not providing internal policies that would catch the behavior before it caused tremendous harm. However it is now the governments fault for not creating or enforcing laws especially when they affect the populus as a whole. Resulting to the fact that it is again the people’s fault because they voted in corrupt politicians. By now it is so widespread, so interweaved causing world wide panic of depression that nothing is clear as to whom is responsible. Now we are all trying to clean up a big mess, which many people theorize as to how to solve. Since everyone else has an opinion or has given their solution why not be in the masses and throw out mine.

I long ago wrote an essay on motivation (now lost in the tech abyss of deletions), in short that essay says motivation all boils down to that american constitutional right of the pursuit of happiness. It is that individuals happiness that determines whether gaining money is defined by greed or simply just survival. Think about it I can have the same mattress for years while another person feels if they don’t change it or have the money to change it once a year passes then they feel distraught, or otherwise unhappy.

In the schools a student may misbehave to gain others love and respect the only thing he always wanted from his peers or a girl wanting to escape the world of paper pencil lecturing because she is a person who would do better learning skills as an apprentice in a workshop for she is primarily happy when she can create, fix, build all skills that prepare her for blue collar jobs which hardly exist.

When we become adults our motivations for happiness become more complex because we have more responsibilities derived from our numerous connections. Some would call this the politics of Joe the plumber. He still has that primal instinct to fight or flight the everyday needs of survival, but yet again those may be different from Sally the regular office worker. Whether this ability to pursue happiness through basic survival needs is morally just has become the bigger debate.

Truly it is these internal motivational factors that determine all the lessons you will learn. Basically if you are not motivated internally external factors become irrelevant. A person will always further themselves if they think their survival or glimpse at happiness is paramount. A case in point a gang member would rather rot in prison than rat their own out because their fate would be worse if they broke the gangs/personal code of honor. That is why in any scenario a manipulation of the environment may aide but to inspire within always wins out.

-Jennie Nawrocki

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