It’s Harder Than Rocket Science and Brain Surgery1

Posted on September 8, 2015 by David Blumenkrantz

rocket31A one ton roving robotic laboratory landed on Mars August 6, 2012. It’s name: Curiosity. We continue to make amazing advances through technology. Curiously, can we say the same thing about advances in helping to educate and raise our children?

I was listening to “Marketplace” on National Public Radio several years ago. It must have been a slow day for business news because they had this story about the most difficult job in the world. They started the story by saying that the news crew was confronted with this really, really difficult problem. They said to each other, “We ought to be able to figure this out because after all it’s not brain surgery.”

Then they started talking and began to wonder what the brain surgeons say when they run into a really difficult problem. 

The idea for a news story was born. 

They called up John Hopkins Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery and got a brain surgeon on the line. They asked, “When you’re in the operating room and you run into a really difficult problem when you’re operating inside someone’s brain, what do you say to each other: ‘We should be able to do this it’s not as hard as...’ ” The brain surgeon replied, “We would most probably say, ‘We should be able to do this, it’s not as hard as rocket science.’ ”

Like any good journalists tracking a story they followed up on the brain surgeon’s tip and called the Houston Jet Propulsion Laboratory and asked to speak to a rocket scientist. They got a nuclear engineer (the scientific name for a rocket scientist) on the line and asked him, “When you’re designing one of these rockets and you hit a really difficult technical problem, what do you say to each other? ‘We should be able to do this. it’s not are hard as...’ ” He thought for a minute and responded, “We would most probably say, ‘We should be able to do this, it’s not as hard as trying to solve the major problems confronting human services, especially the problem of helping children grow up well in this country’.”

Language is Consciousness. In order to change the story we need to learn a new language to inform and guide the emergence of our collective story. This is harder than brain surgery or rocket science!

Visit our web sites to learn the language of community rites of passage and how youth & community development through rites of passage can help us renew our villages to raise our children.

Let’s Learn with and from each other!


1 © David G. Blumenkrantz, Ph.D., Ed.M.

Posted in ROPE

Read more about Youth & Community Development through Rites of Passage in the new and highly acclaimed book by Dr. David Blumenkranz.

David Blumenkrantz, Ph.D., Ed.M., Founder & Executive Director, the Center for Youth & Community

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