Conspire–It’s About Time

I love the name of the Willow Creek Youth Ministries Conference where I gave last night’s keynote speech. Conspire literally means to breathe together. It is almost impossible not to conjure up the contemporary meaning which suggests that people are pursuing a legal end while performing an illegal activity. Kids today practically need a conspiracy for people to gather in their name with their ultimate purpose in mind. Adults spend a lot of time searching for weaknesses; their employees’, their family’s, their students’—children don’t have this kind of time to waste–because probing for weakness is a waste of time. And in this brief moment of a life we are given, wasting time is simply wrong.

I meet so many parents who home school their children simply because they feel they cannot afford to have their children waste time. They say that for every negative a person hears about himself, it takes five positive statements to balance it out. I’d say most children are experiencing a real emotional deficit if this is the case. How long will it take each child to undo the negatives they begin hearing so early in their lives? That is the real conspiracy—a world where the adults keep the children from experiencing the rightful knowledge of who they are uniquely meant to be. Discovering strengths is a matter of justice and the time has come to break up the weakness conspiracy.

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.
  1. Maximizer1 Reply

    I agree. I am a tutor at our local community college and know the value of Strengths for everyone. Not only our younger but older students have a lack of confidence and direction, because they have not been appreciated for their greatest assests–their strengths. As someone who is on a Strengths-based college campus, I can tell you that both the business part of the college and our students have greatly benefitted form Strengths training. Having said that, you have to wonder if these same people had been trained from their early years in Strengths how much more confident and successful our students would be and how much more engaged our leadership, managers and employees would be. I have to tell you that even the most unmotivated students finally find a spark when they are introduced to their own Strengths.

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