Congratulations to the United States of America

Today, we are inaugurating President Barack Obama. We should stand tall and proud as a nation as we turn our focus on a future led by the nations’ first African-American president. There are many obvious reasons why this is important, but for the Strengths Movement is signals that minds can be changed, old assumptions can be triumphed by new understanding and we are capable of significant change.

For the United States, indeed, the world, to fully embrace a perspective that looks for people’s unique strengths to discover their true value and contribution, we need to make radical shifts in our perspectives. Changing one’s perspective is one of the most difficult tasks imaginable. The inauguration of our new president shows the world it is possible.

To truly embrace a strengths focus in the future, people will have to begin to look for the inherent worth in everyone. It is easy to see weakness and deficit in others. It takes courage to look past people’s perceived deficits and believe that genuine difference can bring added value. The Strengths Movement celebrates individual ability. To have this concept really take hold, we must believe that every person has something of value to contribute and then we will need to be vigilant in our desire to allow those valuable differences to manifest in success in our businesses, our schools, and our relationships.

Today signals hope for our ability to open our perceptions to such radical change.

Jenifer Fox is an internationally published author, educational keynote speaker and leading innovator on 21st Century Learning. Her groundbreaking book, Your Child’s Strengths, a Guide for Teachers and Parents (Viking/Penguin) is widely accepted as the definitive guide to developing success through a focus on strengths for children. Jenifer authored The Differentiated Instruction Book of Lists (Wiley) and has created Differentiated Instruction, an online professional course for teachers.

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