Grit is a personality trait possessed by individuals who demonstrate passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions.
Here’s a story about grit. All of my boys were given this incredible opportunity to attend middle school in Manhattan. And while people scoffed at the idea and judged me for thinking it was a better option than the schools in our town, they thrived there and the experiences each of them had were paramount to who they are today.
My oldest was an actor at the time and went to the Fame school, my middle son was never challenged academically and finally was. My youngest learned to navigate the subway system in the sixth grade and found extreme compassion for those less fortunate. I still send him with ones to give to homeless people when he travels through the city to get to his school. He was the one who told me about grit.
The public school they attended is called Booker T and is located on 107th street. At the time it was called Delta Honors and was very hard to get in. It is filled with an array of teachers, mostly young, who push the kids pretty rigorously so that they can go on to a good high school. They are passionate about what they do and insist on meeting with the parents every quarter; something unheard of in this pissy town I live in.
One teacher, an older woman who liked to yell, had a grit tree in her classroom. She had all the kids color a paper bird and place it on the bottom limb of the tree. When they did something she found “grit worthy” they got to move up a branch. One day a boy in the class did something she deemed not grit like, and took his bird off the tree. Literally clipped his wings! I guess it disturbed my youngest a lot, for him to relay the story to me.
When people dare to be different, dare to step out of the box and fly in a different direction, there are always people who will clip their wings or will at least try to. The thing that keeps a person flying high above like an eagle, is the ability to not care what others think.
People care too much about what others think, which is why they never reach eagle status. Eagles fly higher than other birds. They understand and accept this. And, they only fly with other eagles.
So either you have enough grit to fly like an eagle or you are a bird amongst a flock who does what others do because you are too afraid to fly. Your fear of flying simply comes from your fear of being judged for doing so.
Dare to be different! I’ll be up here in the clouds if you care to join me.