|Values In Action... Wisdom
Wisdom is a value that it can be hard to get a grip on. We all have lightbulb moments where we suddenly realize something important. The futility of a certain action, a better way to accomplish a goal, a realization that maybe others matter just as much as we do, or even a moment of quiet reflection where we realize we will never have it all figured out. These moments are frequently the foundation of our personal growth and ultimately help us make better judgments and decisions. In other words, they are the moments that make us wiser.
For our part, we tend to be Socratic when it comes to wisdom. Questions that prompt thought and reflection encourage us to consider more than just our gut reactions. More importantly, we know how much children are paying attention. Since children look to adults both explicitly and passively for how to act we have to model virtues that help form the foundations of wisdom. In order to succeed at this we need to have experienced, competent adults leading our classroom environments and our schools. This of course is something that you find at Greystone House regardless of which of our schools your child attends.
How does wisdom come into play in the classroom? As always, our values are reinforced in our curriculum in different ways. Frequently we make use of stories with clear morals to help develop values. This week the children will be hearing the story of How the Spider Got His Thin Middle (spoiler alert, it isn’t from pilates). If you aren’t familiar, it is the story of a “clever” spider who in his greed devises a way to attend two feasts in neighboring villages. He ties a long rope around his middle and asks two friends who are attending one of the feasts each to pull the rope when their feast begins. The feasts end up beginning at the same time. Stuck in place by the tightened ropes, spider is squeezed harder and harder as his friends each wonder where he is. Had spider been wise he would have realized he had enough to eat at either feast. Instead, his greed clouded his judgment and - as the story concludes - to this day you can still see the thin middle of the spider.
How as parents can we model wisdom? There are of course no 6 year old sages. Ultimately wisdom is built from foundational layers over time and, like our staff, parents modeling virtues and behaviors that form a solid foundation is of enormous benefit in the long run. Virtues such as patience, thrift, humility, curiosity, temperance and respect spring to mind. We emphasize these virtues for a couple of reasons. The first is that they are key virtues to help children learn to define themselves internally rather than via externalities. The second reason is simply that they are among the most difficult of the virtues to master and practice in our culture. An early start and consistent model to draw from can't hurt.
Consider these virtues as you step back and reflect daily on your role as a parent and look for ways to both model and highlight these virtues in others. We promise that your children are paying attention.
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