Create calmness in chaos

Many say that most learning takes place in formal educational settings. However, Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that most learning takes place in informal settings such as where we live, play and work. We learn acceptable societal behaviors by observing others through our relationships with others.

In particular, we imitate and strive to emulate people we love (parents), admire (role models), or aspire to follow (idols and heroes). Bandura theorized that we

  • observe
  • imitate
  • role model

As we look to the new year, it is interesting to reflect upon the behaviors prevalent in society, giving rise to chaotic conditions:

  • Impeachment hearings
  • Educational fraud by celebrities and coaches
  • Trump Derangement Syndrome
  • Rampant brush fires in California
  • Mass gun violence

As parents, educators and administrators, why would we want to do so?

  • Inner peace makes us smarter. According to, “just eight weeks of regular meditation practice shows increased gray matter in MRI scans.”
  • Regular meditation, relaxation training and prayer trains and builds the brain muscles to resist old, destructive habits of worry and anxiety to ones of health and peace.
  • Inner peace helps us to feel and show more compassion; the antidote for chaos and calamity according to the journal Psychological Science.

How do we role model inner peace and calmness in the chaos?

  • Take a deep breath, count to 10 before responding to toddler, adolescent or young adult rebelliousness
  • Smile often
  • Consider the humor in every situation
  • Understand that there are different perspectives underpinning differing viewpoints
  • Listen more, talk less- remember the acronym (WAIT- why am I talking?)
  • Be humble and show humility (Matthew 18:4)

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