Kiran Sethi spreads the “i can” bug. And it’s Contagious.

by Parin

“Contagious is a good word. Even in the times of H1N1, I like the word.
Laughter is contagious. Passion is contagious.
Inspiration is contagious.”
– Kiran Sethi

Kiran Sethi spreads the "i can" bug in her inspiring TEDTalk. And it's Contagious.

Kiran Sethi spreads the "i can" bug in her inspiring TEDTalk. And it's Contagious.

GREATness, in my opinion, is a state of MIND.
It’s a mindset that we have.

It’s the confidence we have in ourselves.
Trusting our decisions and actions.

It’s facing adversity head on. Knowing that there will be growing pains.
Pushing through
because we’re not giving up so easily.

It’s acknowledging that it’s impossible for us “to know” everything.
Seeking others for advice is okay; there’s no such thing as a “stupid question”.

It’s understanding that we might make mistakes on the way.
But they’re only considered “mistakes”, if we don’t learn from them.

It’s an
I CAN, and, I WILL!” attitude and mindset.

So why not instill this attitude with the youth of today?
Empower the leaders of tomorrow to become the leaders of today?

Infect them with the “i can” bug, so to speak?

This is exactly what Kiran Sethi, founder of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, is doing.

In her inspiring TED Talk from TEDIndia 2009 (watch the video below), she shows how her innovative school empowers children by infecting them with the “i can” bug. Through her AProCh (A Protagonist in every CHild) project, students learn first-hand about current issues and do anything from launching an awareness campaign, to educating their own parents.

[Source: Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge]

I don’t know about you, but this is one bug I don’t mind being infected by, or spreading throughout the world :).

Are You Infected With The “i can” bug? And Are You Spreading It?

Share your opinions and experiences in the comments section below! :)

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  • rande3p

    Nicely done! The first step is believing you can do what you want. Believing you are capable of GREAT things.

    • Parin

      Thanks Randeep! :)

      That’s exactly it. You have to BELIEVE in yourself!

      In the word’s of Maya Angelou: “I believe that every person is born with talent.”

  • Anj

    It’s nice to see an initiative like this in India. My only hope is she has the power and influence to keep it spreading fast enough to make some epic changes for that country! Nice work : )

    • Parin

      Thanks Anj! :)

      Agreed – I hope she continues to make the “i can” bug viral. Though, judging by her recent events, it looks like she’s doing just that :):

      – She was 1 of 20 Indian entrepreneurs invited to meet President Barack Obama (Nov 6)
      – She spoke at TEDxYouth@Tokyo yesterday as a part of Universal Children’s Day
      – The Design for Change contest went global this summer

      I haven’t read about these events in detail yet, but it’s a good sign that she’s reaching a global audience.

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  • Kima

    Hey Parin,

    while I am awed by the work Kiran is doing by empowering children, somehow I doubt she would be as successful doing the same with adults. Kids, especially younger ones, are not yet brainwashed by the school system and us adults to think they’re not creative and to stop thinking critically and be curious. They also believe they can do almost anything they wish to do. This kind of state of mind is inborn in us humans. Unfortunately we kill it through schooling and education.

    And it doesn’t have to be like that. Kiran shows that you can foster it and still educate the kids to be successful in reading, math, …!

    Maybe there’s hope for us adults too. The “i can” bug is already in all of us, we just need to awake it from the long winter dream it was put into as we were growing up :-(

    Look at yourself … you just started a blog … your bug is no longer dormant! 😉


    • Parin

      haha … yes, the bug is no longer dormant. :)

      Great article! You raise some good points in your post about the schooling system we have in place today.

      I haven’t seen “Schooling the World” yet, but it’s on my watch list now. The trailer looks very intriguing. :)

      And I completely agree with John Taylor Gatto when he says:

      “A lot of the constraints on us; a lot of the strings that hold us like puppets … are really inventions of our own mind.”

      With regards to spreading the “i can” bug among adults, I agree it is more difficult, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Yes, our experiences shape who we are, and the schooling system is a big part of this in our childhood and teen years. And I do agree that the traditional schooling system doesn’t foster an “i can” attitude, which is why I love what Kiran is doing.

      I’m an optimist though :) , and I think we’re now living in an age where more and more people are realizing that “i can” and there are people and organizations that support this: Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, TED, Behance,, etc.

      Especially with the advancement in social media and technology, it’s easier to stay connected and access hear from these leaders and visionaries as well.

      Albeit, teaching and understanding this at a younger is definitely more effective, it’s like Maria Robinson said:

      “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” :)

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