The Principal shares the results of the exercise of dialogue and reflection.
“If you drop the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void.”
The students of the Gimnasio Moderno have performed this week the best of exercises: thinking about the future for the children and youth of Colombia. Their voice, full of energy and optimism, is a sample of the fundamental emotions that must guide our leaders in society. Our students assumed a patient and sympathetic attitude from their differences to discuss points of view and address social problems from multiple perspectives. From the disagreements they reached consensus and freely expressed their ideas about our present to decipher the future.
The free debate of democratic ideas and respect for others are principles that should underpin any negotiation, and this is taught to us today by our young students.
They basically attempted to generate agreements. Of course it is not an easy task. Many years ago Fisher and Ury, the creators of the Harvard method of negotiation, taught us that the way to negotiate successfully involved. When it comes to the future of young people, this method raises seven key elements to bring the negotiation process to a successful conclusion. I will only refer to one: commitment.
Millennials and centennials want a better world, with opportunities for everyone. They are committed to it. They move to all corners of the planet expressing their support for the environment, respect and care for animals, in search of agreement in the deepest conflicts that overwhelm their daily lives. They express their nonconformity both in the networks and in the streets. They ask for respect for their rights, and sometimes the older people must remind them of their obligations; that is true, but it is clear that their leadership is changing the way we live, communicate and think.
In the present, our families face fear and uncertainty with such courage and determination and the voices of our children acquire greater relevance. We must listen to them, let the dialogue be a priority in our family gatherings because our children will be the ones that will transform the way we live with their particular perspective.
I hope that the School, the one we call the 21st century school, helps to educate better human beings, who appreciate the well-being of nations, sustainable development, cultural diversity, respect for democratic values and the environment. If we can make this the conversation in the classroom, we will have for sure the leaders that our country needs.
I am sure that this will be the case and I am pleased – in the midst of so much confusion – to corroborate that this generation of students that we are training will be more critical, empathetic and committed to contributing to the country as also to the world with all their efforts to make our nation a better place, a place where citizens can live in peace with tolerance.
I conclude these words by inviting you to learn about the reflections and dissent of our students, which were recorded by the rapporteurs who were appointed in each of the work tables:
Happy weekend for everyone.
Víctor Alberto Gómez Cusnir