Darlings, I wish ARC for you
Of all the things I have learned this year, may ARC be the lesson learnt the hardest (and the best).
Authentic, Resilient, and Consistent. Not new concepts, but in triplicate they hit me when told by the principal of Stirling Primary at an open evening that we, as parents, should have an "endgame plan" for our children. What is the longterm strategy we have for raising our kids? Thinking about it, I reckon I want them to be ARC adults. Authentic means having integrity, but it doesn't mean being perfect. Flaws are part of what it is to be human, but being authentic means owning those flaws and unattractive character traits, being able to say sorry when you've hurt someone, and always trying to be better. Not better than someone else, but better than your worst self. Resilience at its most basic means bouncing back when you've been knocked down; being able to find your feet in unfamiliar territory, overcoming your own fears of the unknown in order to master a new skill or carve a place for yourself in new surroundings. No one said it would be easy, but out of a comfort zone is always where you grow the most. Consistency, for me, means that you are the same, at your core and demonstrated in your behaviour, today, yesterday and tomorrow, before your parents, your teachers, your friends, the person who rings up your purchase at Spargs or the pilot who flies your plane. Before presidents or street urchins, you give every person in your path the same level of courtesy you would expect given to you (which is a lot, and if you disagree we need to work on your self-esteem!) In friendships and relationships, consistency breeds trust... a pet hate of mine is if someone is friendly one day and unfriendly the next. I have cut my losses on "friends" such as these, and so should you. Be kind, but you really don't have to be friends with everyone. In work or sport terms, consistency will bring rewards as skills are mastered or talents honed through sheer repetition. Raw talent is never enough unless applied consistently. ARC won't guarantee career success or wealth, but I do believe a life lived daily with authenticity, resilience and consistency will be a happy life, and people with similar attitudes and values will come into your orbit and remain there. Your cycle will spiral upwards instead of downwards; authentic people want the best for others and as you lift each other up, everyone rises.
And when I thought about it again... this isn't some "endgame" or "longterm strategy" I want for my children... this is something I want for myself. I want to be defined by ARC, and I definitely see ARC in those I have gravitated towards in this journey of life.
So here's to ARC. May we see it, may we feel it, may we be it. Not just our kids, but ourselves. - Taralyn Mclean