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Celebrating 30+ Years of Character Education

30 YEARS of Character Education

June 17, 2024

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Escape Fantasy

Dear Educator,

Do you ever dream about winning the lottery? All that money, all at once, would have a major impact on your life. Possessions and experiences once beyond your reach would be well within your grasp. Everything would change, you imagine, and real life would finally align with your dreams.

There is nothing per se wrong with this fantasy. Like all exercises in imagination, it allows us to create a world in our head. We can use that world to explore our hearts and minds, to determine what we really want, and to find paths towards real-life fulfillment. The problem, therefore, is not having the fantasy; the problem is getting stuck in it.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

Vincent Van Gogh

When we give our hearts to worlds that don’t exist, we stop ourselves from shaping the world that does. We rob ourselves – not of courage – but of the opportunity to gather and apply it. We delay action, remain passive, and hope for a terribly unlikely outcome. This, you might imagine, in not the optimal path to personal fulfillment.

Is there a “lottery fantasy” in your life? Some dream in which the new you has everything? That’s OK, we all have one! But instead of hoping for it, act on it. Look at it deeply and critically, and find the motivations or desires which make it so appealing. Once identified, you can replace fantasy with actual and achievable goals. You can make the world a little bit closer to the one you imagine.

Make it a great day, dear educator, and try to escape your fantasies.

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