To help encourage conversations about reflection and continue to pushing forward, our topic/question of the week is...
One Simple Question
When you offer academic or social feedback to a young person, do you focus more on the pitfalls of the actions or to the missed opportunities they can act upon next time.
- the pitfalls that need to improve, to avoid making the same mistakes
- the missed opportunities that can be taken, in order to do things better next time
I hope that this Thanksgiving break was a relaxing one for all and that you had a chance to truly unwind and relax. We enjoyed the beautiful weather over the holiday on the Cape with Katie's family and then had a nice three-day weekend back in Holliston - playing with the kids, cleaning up the yard, and enjoying Holliston's Holiday Stroll on Saturday with friends.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and feeling grateful, this week I am sharing one post that I read a few weeks ago. It is a brief post that encourages everyone to focus on 'what is possible'...
Our World Has Gotten Better and We Have No Idea
by Shajia Sarfraz in Harvard Education
Sarfraz's post highlights an interview with economist Max Roser, referencing the 'Negativity Bias' that we all experience.
There is a thing in psychology called the Negativity Bias, which is the idea that we have a greater tendency to be psychologically affected by negative things, than by positive things. We have evolved to be more alert to threats than to opportunities. When we raise our children, we always try to warn them about the threats in life (like burning themselves from a hot object) than missed opportunities. It is therefore unsurprising that we pay more attention to negative news than positive news and perhaps that is one major reason for why people are so misinformed about how the world has changed.
Change will only happen if we believe that change is possible. So, should we be optimistic about the world? Max thinks yes, not because the world is unequivocally rainbows and butterflies, but because we can see how much is possible. By setting goals and working together to achieve them, we can change how our world is into something that we want it be.
I want to be clear that my intent by no means is to minimize the tragedies that take place both locally and internationally, but to also be sure to seek and focus on much of 'the good' that is around us, doing our best to combat our 'negativity bias' by focusing on the positive rather than the negative. Term 1 ends this week and as we look ahead to Term 2, I look forward to reflecting upon the positive changes and growth that have taken place at Blake (for students, staff, and one another) and am excited about the ones that we will foster in the days ahead.
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