Leading Blog






05.25.07

Developing a Respectful Mind

Five Minds for the Future
Howard Gardner writes in Five Minds for the Future, "Adolescents have potentials for leadership, or for enterprise, that can be marshaled for diverse ends; it is up to their elders—parents, educators, community leaders, slightly older and more mature peers—to influence how these potentials are mobilized." This is a significant thought worthy of repeated reflection. It describes the process of character development throughout our lives. We might consider what functions we occupy and the influence we are having on others.

In any event, Gardner believes that the mobilization of these potentials should progress in five directions that can be manifested in five minds. They are: the disciplined mind (a mind trained on a specific scholarly discipline, craft or profession), the synthesizing mind (a mind that can create value from information), the creating mind (a mind that can break new ground), the ethical mind (a mind that contemplates meaning in work and life and then acts on it) and the respectful mind (a mind that welcomes differences between group and individuals).

Looking specifically at the respectful mind, he writes that “rather than ignoring differences, being inflamed by them, or seeking to annihilate them through love or hate, [he] would call on human beings to accept the differences, learn to live with them, and value those who belong to other cohorts.”

The respectful mind, like the other four qualities of mind, Gardner believes is a kind of thinking or attitude we will need to have to thrive during the eras to come. He says “eras to come” because while we have always needed this quality of mind, it has been a kind of option. Meaning I assume, that the repercussions of not having it were better contained in times past. However, today we are so interconnected that our very survival depends on it. In a global sense he is right.

While all of these minds interact with each other, the respectful mind, I believe, would seem to be the cornerstone. five minds for the future Without it we limit our input—distance ourselves from reality—and virtually assure that we are not effective with others. Consequently, the respectful mind is the first mind we should seek to develop in children and demand from ourselves.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:22 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books , Leadership Development , Personal Development



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