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Best Possible Selves 21

Sunday, February 19, 2017

In 5th Grade Leadership Class we have asked the students to look ahead to the year 2067 and to imagine that they are receiving individual Lifetime Achievement Awards. In writing Acceptance Speeches for these awards, we have encouraged them to imagine that they are looking back at a lifetime filled with successful attention focused on the specific issue that they have always cared deeply about. By way of example, here are some of the issues that are important to our students:

  1. Political Justice
  2. Athletic Accomplishment
  3. Support for Teachers
  4. Support for Scientific Research
  5. Access to Educational Opportunity
  6. Women's Rights
  7. Animal Rights
  8. Equal Pay for Equal Work
  9. Climate Change
  10. Sustainable Architecture
  11. Protection Against Child Labor
  12. Protection Against Homelessness

It is gratifying to realize that the children of this generation really do care deeply about a broad range of important values and virtues. Not only are they aware of many relevant challenges and opportunities that they will face in their own futures, they are also mindful of the ways in which they may choose to express their best possible adult selves. By way of example, here is but a small excerpt from one of the student's speeches: 

It is my absolute honor to accept this world wide ice skating award; for my love of this remarkable art. I use my skates to express how I feel, what I like, what inspires me. I tell my story. I skate, to feel the tiny ice shards fly all around me, the chill, the worry, the voice....

It doesn’t matter if you are passionate about dogs, cats, horses, homeless, equality, yourself, or nothing at all; if you are passionate about it and you put your heart, soul, and love into it; you shall become amazing and hopefully, one day you’ll be standing where I’m standing, making a speech just like me. Passion. Hope. Wonder. Curiosity. Wit. Humor. And most importantly; friendship. You don’t just go in and you are instantly the best at what you just tried. You might show serious promise, but you’re certainly not the best. You just go out there, try something new, and if you like it, be the best you that you can be about it, and if you don’t, there’s always tomorrow.