Goal Setting and Grit

I asked a colleague of mine, Cindy Pearson, if I could share this poem of hers on my blog. She obliged, but said she might need to apologize to Maurice Sendak, the children’s author who wrote Pierre: A Cautionary Tale. I don’t think so; I’m sure he would appreciate her version of a cautionary tale. And I know you’ll like it, too.Pierre

Here’s the story of a family like yours

With a daughter and two sons, of course.

Their sweet daughter, it is true,

Always knew just what to do,

She was amazing as a learner

So this story does not concern ‘er.

Instead, the story I will tell

Is how these boys, both loved so well,

Took two very different paths

For learning reading, science and math.

One boy was praised for being smart.

The other learned to work with heart.

School was simple for Son One.

He passed with ease, had lots of fun.

“You’re very smart,” his parents cried.

“I know I am,” the boy replied.

“I don’t work hard, I just know it,

I get good grades and never blow it!”

Son Two was not as fortunate

He wanted to be lucky, but

He always struggled with his work.

“I just can’t do it.  I’m a jerk!”

His parents said, “You’re not, you see,

Your brain just functions differently.”

“Eat an elephant in just one bite?

It can’t be done; you know we’re right.

Dig in, work hard, and set a goal.

Your effort puts you in control

Of what you learn and what you know

You decide where you can go.”

So both boys went to college; though

For Son One it was a blow.

His grades were often very bad.

Which made him feel extremely sad.

“I’m not so smart any more,

I never had to work before!”

He said, “If I’m not really bright

Then going to college isn’t right.”

Son One decided to drop out.

He seemed paralyzed by his doubt.

Son Two was able to excel

Because of lessons he’d learned well.

Now the biggest regret for their mother

Is in the messages to each brother.

They praised Son One for being smart.

But Son Two got a stronger start.

Smart is good, but hard work’s better.

All kids should be great goal-setters.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Billybucb
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 20:33:57

    Strange, but this one came through on schedule. Go figure! Hopefully this is the start of something good. 🙂


  2. theclocktowersunset
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 01:53:15

    Bravo! Tell Cindy I think this is awesome.


  3. theclocktowersunset
    Nov 14, 2013 @ 08:49:21

    A problem none the less.


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