Life is full of difficult choices. Too often we are unable to use the power of our minds freely due to being overwhelmed by various sentiments. If these sentiments have their foundation in narrowness, then we are unlikely to be able to access the higher thinking and rationality that we have the capacity for, and have been blessed with as human beings. Panic is a state of extreme sentimentality wherein one may lose even physical self-control. The opposite state is calm. In which state should an important decision be made? Which state is more likely to lead to good health?
In high school, there are plenty of stressful and difficult situations, not the least of which is choosing a college. Most students lose sleep over this decision, and suffer real stress. The quality of their actions suffers too. They may procrastinate, or focus too narrowly, or suffer confusion, or get distracted from studies, or simply be paralyzed into inaction due to the complexity of the problem.
Progressive School grads routinely report a sense of calm when everyone around them is out of sorts. They describe an awareness of their personal tendencies, and an ability to put rationality ahead of sentiment. They therefore make decisions with surprising clarity, regardless of how important that decision may be. They also manage their personal life with similar skill.
The steps in their childhood education that lead directly to this quality developing are:
- a focus on personal change and improvement through intrapersonal skill building (intrapersonal skills are a part of our basic behavior standards and are included in report cards; they refer to the process of correcting errors in behavior through introspection, honest dialog, and a commitment to new choices in the future)
- overcoming narrow-minded sentimentality during the study of history
- being allowed the opportunity to make decisions
Decision making at Progressive is practiced constantly. It starts with the freedom of where to sit, and travels all the way to choosing an independent course of study. In between , there are countless opportunities to flex those decision making muscles and learn from mistakes. Hey, guess what? The world doesn’t end when you make a bad decision! It just helps you make a better one next time. In addition, calm rational thinking is especially promoted in the way we approach problem solving, and in the way we study history.
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