By: Neil Mufson
Mr. Mufson shares some wisdom from Brene Brown.
As we head off to spring break, I thought I would share a clearly stated but profound statement that I heard spoken at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference that I attended in Baltimore last week. The speaker was professor of social work, researcher, and writer, Brene´Brown, author of several bestsellers, including The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
Brown's research focuses on the importance of opening ourselves up to vulnerability in life. She maintains that it is only when we face risk, uncertainty, and adversity that we give ourselves the power to experience authentically those things that most give life meaning: connection, love, and joy. It is only though making ourselves vulnerable that we can ever develop courage.
So here is what Brown said that has so stuck with me: "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; chasing what's right over what's fun, fast, and easy; and practicing our values rather than just professing them." As I thought over these words, I realized that they stand at the root of what we seek to accomplish through our Country School values program. All of our values seek to help children and adults lead lives of integrity, authenticity, courage, and achievement. As Brown see it, it is only when we are willing to expose ourselves emotionally, cognitively, and creatively that true happiness and fulfillment are possible. I look forward to pondering these concepts further during the change of routine that spring break brings.

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