Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Big is Your Brave?

A group of people is gathered, watching and listening to the rhythms of street musicians.  The beats resonate with many; toes are tapping, hips are swaying and shoulders gently shimmying.  One little human, still in diapers, breaks from the crowd and allows the music to captivate her.  Her dance moves are anything but subtle; they’re all encompassing.  She feels the sounds and her body responds with matching motions.  Her joy inspires a few others of varied ages to join in.
Many of us have experienced a scene like the one above.  Did you dance alongside that little girl?  Wish you had?  Perhaps dancing isn’t your thing and you were perfectly satisfied to watch.

The older (or should I say, more mature) we get, the more developed our brains become.  With that development, comes a sophisticated network of inhibitors that regulate our choices.  Inhibitions are necessary, yet they can be both positive and negative.  They help regulate our impulses so that our actions are thoughtful - bringing a balance between order and chaos.  However, at times, they hold us back - prevent us from being courageous, audacious, bold, and brave.

Last Friday, a group of 24 individuals (students, parents & staff), came together in front of the whole school to perform in the Almond School Air Orchestra.  Their gutsy performance can be viewed in this video [].  

While the staff and parents knew what lay before them and volunteered, the students did not.  I’m not sure which required more chutzpah; knowing what was coming and doing it anyway or entering into the challenge with no expectations.  Nevertheless, all members of the ensemble were amazing.  My sincere gratitude goes out to this group for being role models to our whole community!

The assembly closed with the song Brave, by Sara Bareilles and students were given the lyrics to bring home to share with their families.  She challenges us, “say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out, honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”  I invite you to watch the music video with your children (appropriate for the whole family) and dialogue about how you define bravery.  It’s different for all of us.  For some it might be looking someone directly in the eye, or participating in class.  Perhaps it’s joining a Four Square game, or speaking up when someone is being teased.  Whatever it might be, as the song goes, “show me how big your brave is.”

Contributed by Erika Benadom, Principal of Almond School,

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