I came across a quote the other day that really caught my attention. I did not see a citation, so I can’t include the author’s name, but the message resonated with me. It goes:
“If you violate your conscious consistently, it’s like a gauge that no longer gauges. People of conscious are change agents.”
As I reflected on this, the thought of how it applies to education and serving the youth of our community. There are so many things that need to be changed with how we learn, interact, treat one another, and work together to solve problems for the betterment of all. We often talk about life-long learning for both children and adults. At District 142 we strive to instill this love of learning and growing over a lifetime in our students. But the above quote caused me to wonder if we could clarify and expand upon the love of learning. What I would argue is that it’s useless to learn a whole lot of things if you don’t put them to use. What would be the benefit of being a life-long learner if you never put what you learn into practice? And, further, we desperately need our youth to build on what they’ve learned so when they grow up, they are better prepared to solve real-world problems and affect change.
It’s often said that the same minds that created the problems are not usually the minds that solve them. If this notion is true, our young people have a plethora of challenges ahead of them. As they become adults they will need to use their knowledge to be a part of local and global improvements and solutions that will benefit all. I think we should enlist our young people now. I don’t think it’s too early to ask them what they want to do about the problems they perceive in society. Likewise, it’s important to empower children now with critical thinking to also discern the good that they see in the world. By role modeling “conscious” and encouraging our young people to get involved, a whole lot of good could happen a whole lot sooner… and continue for a whole lot longer.
In walking through our District, and speaking to the young people who attend school here, I see our students are bright, thoughtful, and ready for action. What they need from us is unbridled enthusiasm to expose them to knowledge and the critical tools of educated evaluation. We need to lead them, support them, and let them flourish as their personal critical thinking skills are developing. This kind of support results initially in good decision-making and a growing awareness of their place in the world. As I look at my own six children, three of whom are heading off to college next year, my sincere hope is that they are people of conscious, that they find enjoyment in their life’s calling, and that they help make positive change for the world.
It all starts with the idea that we have to be aware of our conscious, and that we are willing to adhere to that in the good times and the bad. A little more togetherness, cooperation, and serving of others will help address many of today’s largest problems. Paired with a solid educational foundation and the tools of discernment in information-seeking, we have the ingredients for life-long learning and growing.
Here in District 142, this is our charge… to equip the next generation with everything they need to be the leaders of tomorrow.