Our abilities, and our belief in our abilities, have tremendous power over our lives. Today, let’s talk about a few beliefs and abilities that each of you might want to develop to live a more productive, fulfilled life, allowing you to make a positive difference each day – wherever you are.
The three “Rs” – “reading, (w)riting and (a)rithmetic” – appear to have made their first English language appearance regarding basic education in the late 18th century. They were thought to be the foundation for skilled labor to have, and today, they are still critical skills to possess. But there are other abilities and beliefs that are equally critical if you are going to live a successful, contributive life:
• You believe that you are a capable person, that you contribute in meaningful ways to your relationships and society, and that you have the power to influence what happens to you in your own life.
• You have the ability to understand your own emotions and use that understanding to develop self-discipline and learn from your experiences.
• You work well with others and develop friendships through communication, cooperation, negotiation, sharing, listening and empathizing,
• You are able to respond to the limits and consequences of everyday life with accountability, adaptability, flexibility, and integrity.
• Finally, you are able to use your wisdom, judgment and experience to evaluate situations according to appropriate values that you have chosen to live by.
What do you suppose the world would look like if our children came out of school with these abilities and beliefs, as well as the usual “three Rs?” How would they live their lives? How would they influence those around them? Imagine such a world!