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  • Writer's pictureRon Budd

Education often Results from Risk Taking; That Equals Strong Citizens and A Stronger Community

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

In our contemporary "society of safety," the concept of safety has attained a newfound prominence, bordering on being considered a virtue. This should raise concerns, as the emphasis on personal safety, while crucial, has now become one of the highest moral values. You may or may not have recognized this shift, but rest assured, it is a prevailing sentiment within both our collective conscious and unconscious minds.

For instance, when was the last time you witnessed someone being labeled a coward in our society? It's a rare occurrence. Individual safety has taken precedence, and the modern interpretation of this virtue often translates into an unwavering commitment to self-preservation, even at the expense of other individuals or segments of our community. This current state of affairs is untenable.

So, how does this relate to 21st-century literacy? To address this, let's begin with a single word: education. Education inherently involves the acquisition of new knowledge, a process that can be challenging. Challenges frequently entail risks, which can be perceived as dangerous. While some experts in classical logic may dispute these conclusions, I stand by my assertion. In our "society of safety," the prevailing culture gently nudges individuals to remain within their comfort zones. This, in turn, stifles the desire to embrace educational and other challenges, ultimately hindering individual development. Such stagnation detrimentally affects both the effectiveness and vitality of our communities.

A thriving community is built upon and nurtures its individual members. Among these members, an educated individual is an invaluable asset. An educated, 21st-century literate citizen possesses the capacity to lead their community and culture forward to meet the demands of our era. To achieve this, society must encourage fearlessness, self-confidence, and a balanced approach to safety. This kind of communal environment fosters citizens who are not only efficacious but also capable of exercising self-determination within the collective.

When individuals act with a sense of self-determination, they contribute to a community sustained by the courageous endeavors of its most empowered members. It's important to note that self-determination does not equate to selfishness. Rather, an individual's ability to exercise self-determination is a natural outcome of accepting and overcoming life's myriad challenges, even when those challenges involve some degree of risk. Embracing challenges often leads to ambition and ultimately yields a bountiful harvest—specifically, a 21st-century literate, efficacious, and productive member of our community.

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