The Irony of Common Sense

I love the irony of common sense.  I use the phrase regularly.  The irony of common sense is that it is not that common.

I observe people in car parks, driving on the road, bike riders of a morning, the things people post online, comments and opinions expressed, clothing choices………….  The list goes on, and on, and on.

As a Father I find myself constantly reflecting on what I want for my children.  Even at times, what I want for myself.  Yes, I want my kids to be successful.  I want them to achieve academically, to be healthy, to enjoy sport and music.  I want them to have and achieve all the things I never did.  But as I sit and reflect further, I’m not sure what this really means.

My two children are amazing.  As are all the boys and girls who attend SCOTS PGC.  It is interesting though that my daughters, like all the boys and girls here, have great strengths.  It is just that their strengths are very different.  And, this is ok.  In fact, it’s a good thing.  One is driven.  A perfectionist.  Organised beyond organised with structure in her life that you can’t break with any human force.  She knows and learns content.  Learns it all.  She compromises “fun” for results and knows exactly what she wants to do.  Great, I hear.  Wow, lucky.  Yes.  But….. I worry that she misses out on things.  The fun of growing up.  The mistakes that frame who we are and show us that not being perfect is ok.  That she not only knows the rules, which she does, but understands the game that is called life.

My other child loves people and is emotionally very bright.  ‘Social’ could be her middle name if we let it.  We have to work to control this at times!  She only stresses about what needs to be done after it needs to be done, and doesn’t stress about things she doesn’t value highly or that are not so important to her. She loves her sport and commits fully to this showing the skills she has but doesn’t always use in other areas.  School work and other not so fun jobs get in the way of life.  She may not know every rule of the game of life (in fact she doesn’t want to), but she gets the game as well as anyone.  And gets people.

So both, like our boys and girls, are different.  Each has amazing abilities and knowledge, as well as areas for growth. Each has their own place in the world. Each will be and do different things.  If asked which is doing better, I’d say both are doing remarkably well.  Why?  Because it’s not just about their skills and what they know and learn.  I believe it’s about how they use what they know and their decision making.  They apply their knowledge and use their interests to make informed, good decisions.  Not 100% of the time, but when they need or have to.

So, in amongst the books, the sport, the music, their friends, and any technical achievement, the thing I want most for my children is a good grounding in common sense.  When to.  When not to.  When to let it go.  When not to let go. I want my kids and indeed all the boys and girls at SCOTS PGC to know all the rules and, equally importantly, I want them to understand the game and how and when to apply these rules.

At SCOTS PGC, I, and we all, want our boys and girls to succeed technically.  Of course we do.  But I want them to understand life.  I want our boys and girls to demonstrate that common sense can indeed be common if you attend our wonderful school and are supported by parents, staff and peers.

Kyle Thompson – Principal