We are at a critical time in American education. We are being asked to believe that nothing is real unless it is measurable. Test scores – if you can’t measure it, it’s not real. The over-reliance on test scores is going to destroy education. We are focusing on things (test scores) rather than human beings and relationships. We are encouraged to focus on “hard data” (which is more easily measured), rather than “soft skills” (which is more difficult to measure). If we believe that only what is measurable is more real, it is easier to disregard the soft stuff. We are spending so much time on quantitative, data-driven decisions that the quality of interpersonal relationships, sense of purpose, and character development is now a distant second in value. The reality is that “soft skills” are the hardest to develop. Maybe it is because they are so hard to develop, and measure, that we fear them and relegate them to second-class status. Current research from the Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning shows that “soft skills” (respect, responsibility, and relationships) are the primary factors in lifetime success or failure.
Measurement is not the villain. The problem is a loss of balance between social emotional learning and academic skills. It is in the balance and integration of academics with social emotional learning that we will find whole, healthy, and successful learners. We cannot become so focused on tests and quantitative data that we forget the essentials of good judgment and learning.
Love is who we are. Lovingness is an attitude. It transforms our vision and experience of the world. We focus on gratitude and forgiveness rather than being right. We express love by acknowledging contributions others have brought into our lives.
Love is a way of being. Love is the way we relate to life.
Past the teacher came the depressed child, and the abused child, and the addicted child, and the impoverished child. Loving them all, the teacher knelt and prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, how is it that a loving creator can allow such pain in his children and do nothing to save them?”
And out of the silence, God said, “I did do something. I made you.”
There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
- Albert Einstein
I live with miracles every day. I know that tears heal, courage is embracing vulnerability, forgiveness nourishes both the giver and the receiver, and kindness is great strength. We all have experienced loss and pain. We all have had others ridicule and reject us. We stand up in life because we can and we must. We love because it is our nature. We see beauty in all things because we are unafraid of being authentic. We are not alone.
You are the miracle the world needs now.