We all know Jamie Oliver! Many of us know that he is dyslexic and struggled at school. But that was all we knew until this interview.
First, let me state that I am a long-standing Jamie Oliver fan. I love his cookbooks, own them all and use his recipes often. But Jamie is not just a cookbook author or chef. Jamie Oliver has in the past ten years made a thoughtful and well-organised commitment to social action. Jamie Oliver is an observer of society and a fixer. He genuinely wants to make lives better and he doesn’t just talk about action he lives it.
Jamie himself has used his high public profile to:
- establish a social enterprise that trains disadvantaged youth to become catering professionals through his Canteen restaurants,
- increase the provision of nutritious, low fat, low sugar school meals for school children in both the UK and USA,
- set up free community learning spaces to teach the cooking of healthy food in both the UK and Australia,
- become instrumental in the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks in The UK, and
- now produce cook books and tv shows aimed at showing all of us how to live better, longer, and healthier lives.
So Jamie Oliver cares – he wants all of us to be better, healthier and happier. Jamie is also a Dad, a devoted husband and a genuinely nice guy. So, I wasn’t surprised when I saw him finally discussing his dyslexia. What impressed me was his message because as always with Jamie – he told it like it is.
In this interview, Jamie explains that he loved school because he had friends. That he knew his teachers liked him despite his learning challenges. But importantly despite being placed in a special learning unit of only 5 students he always felt included and valued. These are important reminders for all of us – parent, teacher or student – to “share the love!” as Jamie would say.
Finally, please watch and share this interview. The message is very clear every child matters, find your talent, share it – just as Jamie has. Despite his dyslexia!! Despite being in a special needs and not doing well at school, Jamie’s social skills and empathy for others have led to huge success.
Here is a man who has done much good in the world.
If you are a teacher or parent or person – be inspired.
A fine lesson in inclusion! And a reminder that the key to success is social.
Thank you Jamie Oliver!!!