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August 12, 2014

What Education Is

Image: Flickr/Kevin Dinkel

Image: Flickr/Kevin Dinkel

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” (Robert Frost)

People often ask if being ScreamFree means not caring what other people (like your kids or your spouse) do or say anymore. This is a fairly common misconception amongst people who tend to think in extremes. Either you allow their words and actions to boil your blood or you shut down emotionally and tune everything out.

Extremes like these, though common, aren’t helpful. Instead, we ought to aim for the kind of education Frost describes. When someone — a child, a spouse, a co-worker — is rude to you, you don’t have to sink to their level of  immaturity. Nor do you have to take the affront personally. You’re a grown person who does not depend on the whims of anyone else to make you feel good about yourself. Simple, enforceable boundaries and consequences, not retaliation or desertion, are much more effective and healthy. Stay in the moment. Calm down. Grow up. Get closer. Repeat.

Let that be your lesson plan for today.

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