Growing up for some of us is like driving an automatic: we shifted gears almost without thinking. And for others of us growing up has been like learning to drive a standard: we shift, jolt, restart, look for the sweet spot, and try again; every transition requires us to think, stop try. Nothing feels automatic.
High school graduation is a major marker in the journey of growing up. Today I was privileged to be a part of graduation interviews at Tupper High School. I’m so impressed with the students I met and deeply appreciative of the variety of strengths they have landed on and are seeking to develop in the next years. Some of them are shifting well almost on automatic, and others are in the midst of learning to shift.
I have been thinking during the day about the kinds of shifts that are needed and one hopes are well on the way by graduation. Here’s a short list of shifts that I believe high school graduation signals are in order. What do you think, are these expectations realistic?
1. From dependence to independence to interdependence.
2. From working on my weaknesses to living in my strengths.
3. From trusting that others will solve problems for me to seeking solutions with others.
4. From simply absorbing the values of others in order to please them to sorting out what really matters to me.
5. From living for myself as an end to living for something greater than me.
6. From fear of challenges to facing challenges.
7. From the inertia of the familiar to the exhilaration of learning something new. And from depending on others to do this for me to taking the initiative to sharpen my growing edges.
8. From intoxication with power to the just application of power.
9. From having others pay the bills to paying the bills myself.
10. ……….hey what shift do you believe high school graduation signals?