Jackie Gingrich Cushman

I hope that, soon, there will be no more questions regarding expected actions and the habit of homework first will be ingrained in them and help them throughout life.

The beginning of the school year, and fall have commonalities: each allows us to begin anew, to plant seeds in anticipation of what might sprout and blossom in another season.

This may also be the time to go back to our roots, as a gardener might say, to practice those habits that can lead to success. They include taking personal responsibility, working hard, taking civic responsibility, helping others and viewing the world with optimism. These become habits only after repetitive, deliberate practice.

Learning is not always easy or fun, but it is what helps us move forward instead of becoming stagnant. Often, when we have trouble learning, we want to give up rather than try again and risk failure. Next time this road block occurs to you, you might want to remember Aristotle’s insight: “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

In other words, do not worry if you will fail, for we all fail. Instead, worry that you might not act and therefore stagnate. Just remember that, since repeated actions lead to ingrained habits, we should act in ways we will want to repeat.

Charles Reade, an English author, said, “sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Beginning this fall, begin to act, creating a habit that will strengthen your character and shape your destiny.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.