Down Home

The SLOCA Blog

Daring Greatly in 2018

January 1st, 2018

{photo by Austin Neill}

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something.”  

~ Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2018? This is the time of year we usually turn our minds to making resolutions, setting goals, implementing changes and the like. Is “make mistakes” on your list of New Year’s Resolutions?

At SLO Classical Academy our theme this school year is “Daring Greatly” and no, we don’t mean jumping off of cliffs! We are aiming to dare greatly in how we parent, in how we educate our children, in how we do our jobs, in how we nurture our relationships, in how we grow personally… and even in being willing to make mistakes and share them. (These fun "daring greatly" journals are available in the school store, by the way...)

Here’s more on this specifically about parenting, from Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly:

“The real questions for parents should be: "Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?" If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn't exist, and I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.” 

Brené Brown

We know there are plenty of “imperfect parenting moments” in our past, present, and future (especially when we have a rough home day!), but it’s encouraging to know that these can be turned into opportunities for learning and growing closer together, if we are willing to be honest and a little vulnerable with our kids. As we contemplate the new year and changes we may want to make, let’s be willing to try new things, to keep learning, and to push ourselves a bit. Yes, we will make mistakes, but we’ll be in the arena, engaged and paying attention, and preparing our children for adulthood.

Speaking of the arena, here’s our “Daring Greatly” theme passage of the year once again – you’ve seen it many times before, but read it afresh:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Add on this:

“And often the result of daring greatly isn’t a victory march as much as it is a quiet sense of freedom mixed with a little battle fatigue.” 

Brené Brown

Maybe you’re feeling the battle fatigue. If not, it’s coming. But we are with you in the arena! Keep striving valiantly, and rely on the support of our SLOCA community. 

Now if you REALLY want to dare greatly, try sharing one of your mistakes on the blog! Actually, this is one small and easy way to dare greatly, and it’s what Friday Flops are all about (which will start up again when we return from the break). If you’ve read any of the Friday Flops posts so far, you’ll see that it really isn’t too scary. We invite all SLOCA parents, teachers, and staff to send in a Friday Flops story to Down Home – it’s incredible how reassuring it can be to know that we all make mistakes!

May 2018 bring fresh victories, opportunities to learn from our mistakes, and the deep satisfaction and freedom that comes from spending ourselves in a worthy cause.

Parents, do you have any New Year’s resolutions you want to share here? What’s one way you hope to dare greatly in 2018, either in parenting or any other area? Leave a comment and let’s encourage each other!


SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with the above-mentioned photography website or individual.