It’s summer holidays and as one lazy day rolls into the next I find myself having much more time to scroll through facebook than I do during the school year. Like most, my newsfeed consists of three things: vacation photos, Olympic updates and stories or videos of Donald Trump.
I am not a very political person and yet the current presidential election in the United States interests me. It interests me because this particular leadership race has less to do with politics and more to do with moral character. While I don’t care too much about politics, I do care about leadership, citizenship and finding good in people.
I am fascinated by the comments that are emerging about education during this political race. News headlines blame a broken education system for the spread of ignorance, racism, and intolerance. Canadian headlines urge our politicians to invest in our schools now so this does not happen here. The public wants schools to produce graduates with a strong moral compass. There is a demand for schools to educate both the heart and the mind. In generations past, schools were a place of academic development focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic while the family and / or church took the primary responsibility of character development. A shift has occurred and the expectation of schools to participate in character development has become more and more prevalent.
This expectation of schools to create good citizens and critical thinkers mirrors the shift in the BC Curriculum. In September, we launch a renewed curriculum based in core competencies: communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility. These skills are woven into the curriculum from grades K-12 so that we in BC, can help students become academically ready and personally and socially ready to thrive in society. We want students to graduate with the skills they need to care for themselves, care for others and care for the world we live in. It appears that Donald Trump would struggle to graduate in BC with our new focus.
As I scroll through facebook, the bombardment of Trump’s outlandish behaviour takes me back to my days as a high school marketing teacher and the well known lesson “there is no such thing as bad advertising”. And I wonder, are millions of Americans actually contributing to this campaign by sharing stories through their outrage? I am also a big believer that we control where energy goes based on our conscious attention. Does our focus on the ridiculousness of Trump’s behavioiur actually build momentum for the campaign? I believe it does – and although I cannot vote (as I am Canadian), I intentionally will not share stories of Donald Trump, regardless of how shocking they may be. Instead, I will share stories that inspire, stories of great leadership, and stories where I hope energy follows.
As you spend your summer days scrolling through facebook, think of where you want to put your attention. Whether it’s with family, friends, community or a national issue, find the good in our world, put your energy on stories that spread hope and joy, and remind one another that there are wonderful examples of human character all around us – we just have to look for them and decide what we share. Have faith, focus on good and love will win – it always does.