Saturday, May 12, 2012
Carrot on a Stick
I’m sure we’ve all seen a picture of a donkey pulling a wagon into town by holding a carrot on a stick dangling in front of the donkey’s face. This would supposedly tempt the donkey to walk after the carrot, because we all know a donkey is ruled by her stomach, and to get what you actually want, your load to be pulled into town, you need to tempt the donkey with a reward. The donkey’s role, after all is a beast of burden, and you just need to keep that donkey happy with the dangling possibility of a future reward. We all know that you don’t actually have to give that donkey anything.
It is obvious that the donkey will forget the fact you never actually gave her the treat, and so every time you want to haul a load to town, you make sure you keep that carrot on the stick handy for when that donkey gets tired, and decides she’s had enough, you just bring out that carrot.
Imagine if you will, a little girl is told that she can be or do anything she can set her mind to when she grows up. So the little girl is given simple jobs to do which she is expected to do well, and she is told that when she becomes competent in those tasks more responsibility will be given later; after all, she is told over and over again that she, as a woman, can do or be anything she wants to be when she grows up. She is taught to clean the house, cook food, weed the garden, which she learns to do well.
As she grows up, she reads widely, studies hard, gains practical wisdom, but time and time again, as she grows to an adult, she is not given any more responsibility, but she is shown the simple tasks, (weeding the garden, cleaning the house, cooking the food) and yes, she receives some praise for how efficiently she dispatches these tasks, and she is still told that she, as a woman, she can do or be anything she wants, yet she is not given any more responsibilities.
When should she get tired of being that donkey?