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"A community is like a ship; everyone should be prepared to take the helm."

Henrik Ibsen (1828 -1906)

Henrik Ibsen was a 19th-century Norwegian playwright, and theater director. He is sometimes called the father of modern theater. The quote above is from his play An Enemy of the People, in which the protagonist risks his reputation to stand up for what he believes is right.

Do you consider yourself more of a leader or a follower? When you are assigned group projects, do you jump at the chance to direct the team, or do you hang back and let someone else run the show? It's okay if you let others make decisions sometimes; it's important to know how to work as a group. But sometimes you need to assert yourself and be prepared to steer the ship.

Start by knowing your strengths. Are you good with computers? Volunteer to design the PowerPoint for your next group project. Do you have strong feelings about a certain issue at school? Run for student council and make sure your voice is heard. If everyone expected others to take the helm 100 percent of the time, we'd all just be floating out in the middle of the ocean.


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