OPINION

The virtue of making a mistake

By ROBERT HOUGHTALING
Posted 9/30/20

By ROBERT HOUGHTALING Dear Parents and Caregivers of Children, What better time will there be to encourage young learners to make mistakes? All too often we create cultures that promote not doing so. Unfortunately, this often leads to kids seeking to

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OPINION

The virtue of making a mistake

Posted

Dear Parents and Caregivers of Children,

What better time will there be to encourage young learners to make mistakes? All too often we create cultures that promote not doing so. Unfortunately, this often leads to kids seeking to avoid venturing into new territory. With this being said, I am urging you to extol the virtue of mistakes.

Civil Rights icon, John Lewis, asked folks to get into 'Good Trouble', so let us expound this notion to advocator 'Good Mistakes". Success often is born from a willingness to expand horizons, risking awkwardness, and being open to leave one's comfort zone.

What kind of mistakes are we talking about here? How about joining a new club, reaching out to a broader spectrum of friends, reading books from a different genre, seeking to learn more about those from different cultures, trying a new sport, attempting to learn how to play a musical instrument, etc., etc.? Whenever we try something different there is always the chance for 'mistakes'. Change and growth aren't always easy.

During times of stress it is often comfortable to hunker down and avoid challenges. Certainly, it goes without saying that health and safety are priorities. Wearing masks and social distancing are practices that protect people. Playing by the rules in this context shows respect for others and enhances community health/safety. There is a huge difference between abiding by rules that protect people and risking an expansion for enhancing one's skill set.

So, don't be upset if your children sneak out of the box a bit to try a new course, club, sport, or other activity. In fact, here is an opportunity for you to try doing the same thing. Of course you are busy. Of course you have been asked to adjust to different times. But in the end, parents and caregivers of children, of course, deserve an opportunity for fun and growth. I hope you and your family are doing well.

I will conclude by offering a poem, The Beacon, for those children under your care. We are engaged in an unusual academic year and this piece attempts to look at the trials and benefits of working through difficult times.

The Beacon

 

The masks on our faces

And lines in the halls

Tell a strange story

Of what's happening this fall

It all seems so different

It's been such a change

Only the Twilight Zone

Could prove just as strange

But with all of this said

We're each back to school

Whether in class or distant

Learning about Golden Rules

Though there are plenty of challenges

For us to all weather

It's so very important

That we do this together

One day not far distant

Science will answer the call

And we'll see unmasked smiles

Most likely next fall

But remember this lesson

I now will impart

You shine like a beacon

When showing your heart

editorial, opinion

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