So here is a high school teacher who wanted to provide a strong lesson to his students. His message was that it is a privilege to get an education, and one should be focused on making the best of that privilege. But he does not deliver this message in the form of some boring speech, instead he implements an interactive task that proves a real eye opener, especially to the viewer.
A trash can. A piece of paper. That’s all that was needed for this experiment. The students would represent a population of the country and every one of them had the chance to now get rich. Crumpling up their paper and try making it into the can was the key. But the student had to remain seated at their desk.
So the students did as was explained. Crumpled up their papers and threw them at the can, hoping to get them in. The results? As expected, the students who sat near the trash can had no problem making it into the can. Most in the back though, did not make it in. The teacher said the following:
“The closer you are to the trash can, the better your chances of making it in. And that is what privilege is.”
The students near the can, in the front, naturally had no complaints. Yet the ones in the back, indeed did complain. The students in the front didn’t think twice about the advantage, or privilege they had sitting so close to the can.
The students tried a couple of times and the results were the same. The point of the exercise, says the teacher, was the following:
“You all see that the students at the back had a harder time making it into the trash can than the students at the front. You guys at the front are privileged compared to your classmates at the back. Many paper balls from the back missed the trash can, because you guys at the front blocked the way. Some of the balls bounced off you without any of you noticing. You should be aware of this advantage. Take care of the people behind you that have it harder than you do. Education is a similar kind of privilege that you should learn to value. Use it to do amazing things but don’t forget the people in the back row. Because maybe you are impeding them without even knowing it.”
Amazing how a simple experiment can send such a profound message and provide invaluable wisdom which will likely last a lifetime. Never take educational opportunities for granted and recognize, appreciate, and help those who are further away from the thing that many others do take for granted.