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Find your ‘Space Jam’

Ankur Chawla | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This past week I stumbled on a video titled “A pep talk from Kid President to you.” While typically I am as unimpressed as McKayla Maroney and think of myself as above falling for empty rhetoric and cheesy halftime speeches, this video blew me away. If you haven’t seen the clip yet, it is of a young kid dressed in a suit (presumably the “Kid President”) emphatically motivating and encouraging viewers to be awesome.
Making allusions to Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Michael Jordan’s “Space Jam,” Kid President asks each of us to take the road that leads to awesome, and what our “Space Jam” will be. What really makes the video effective, though, aside from the calmly dramatic music in the background, is Kid President’s character and wit – though admittedly it’s probably a writer’s wit. He is incredibly genuine in his message and even has a shout out to his friend Gabbi who’s, “fighting cancer like a boss.”
What amazed me was the simplicity of his arguments and ideas, ones we’ve all heard hundreds of times but hardly take to heart when said by our parents and teachers. And there in lies the rub for the video. We are incredibly receptive to things that are adorable and cute, and are more motivated and easily persuaded by children. Take, for instance, Michael Jordan in “Space Jam.” If it were a group of his peers or others perceivably talking down to him asking him to play basketball, I don’t think he would have lead that team against the Monstars. However, when asked by the adorable and lovable Looney Tunes, he could hardly say no.
Imagine if your organic chemistry lecture were delivered by a seven-year-old in a suit. While you probably wouldn’t have much guidance in how to use a Bunsen burner – seven-year-olds shouldn’t play with fire – I can guarantee you would pay closer attention and not bring in crayons to class. It’s my million-dollar idea to create online courses taught by kids who can speak as eloquently as Kid President (if I get motivated enough by this video to go out and do it).
As Kid President’s pep talk quickly reaches five million views, I think we can agree he’s fulfilled his obligation to “give the world a reason to dance.” Now, to cliché-ly turn it around to you reading this. I know you probably won’t listen to me, but watch the video and be inspired by it. Or at least laugh at it and appreciate our Kid President taking the road less traveled, and the one that leads to awesome. Hopefully you’ll make something as cool as “Space Jam.” I love “Space Jam.”