March 29, 2013

Help! Missing: trust in young people

I'm currently attempting some "holiday" in France, but the downtime has had my brain whizzing with sights that are more or less unfamiliar, certainly not from the time when I lived here over a decade ago or from my wife's own upbringing.

One such thing is what you can observe in the photo I took in a book shop in a city centre mall. This was the third shop we'd been into where we observed the same pattern:

Children and teenagers, though never adults, would diligently and without having been told to, take their bags to the entrance and dump them in a pile before going about their shopping.

I remarked that in pretty much any other country, a) the bags would be stolen within minutes, or b) they'd be removed as a bomb threat, and almost certainly c) any young person asked on entering a store to leave their bag would cry foul, civil liberties and assumptions of innocent-until-caught-with-a-loot-of-school-supplies (this was a stationery and book shop; hardly the stuff of hardened crack heads or hungry desperadoes).

France is certainly struggling at the moment. Her economy is dying, her politicians panicking, her entrepreneurs leaving by their hundreds every week on the Eurostar.

But success might be more likely to appear some day soon if it can do one thing for the taxpayers, citizens and workers of tomorrow: trust them as equal citizens in a Republic built on liberté, égalité and fraternité.

Help! Missing: trust in young people


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Quite common in certain places in Dublin esp. beside large schools

All students here in my suburb in Australia have to leave their bags outside at local supermarkets. The bags aren't stolen and there is no outcry about having to leave their bags.

Most local supermarkets here would ask any one, regardless of age, who has a large backpack on to check the contents before exiting the shop. The challenge they face is you'll have large numbers of students going to the supermarket at the same time after school.

May be the personal of the shopping area has seen the kids coming and putting the bags there?
(May be its a class of young people doing an excursion?)

I would not dare to leave their belongings unattended, I even sometimes their pockets, and then check if you come across someone with a thread in the subway, and it seems strange to me =)

Wow that is definitely a culture shock to us in England. Would be interesting to know how many of those people have been a victim of theft in the past.

It actually is about trust, as soon as it's not broken. May humanity live long, though, too.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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