“Do every act of your life as if it were your last.” Marcus Aurelius
SEL Connection: Children love to take risks. The risk could be something simple like jumping off a diving board, or more complicated like asking somebody out on a date, and then later it can be applying for that job even though they don’t think they have the qualifications to get it.
(1) Claim: Marcus Aurelius tells us all to live intensely. We’ve heard versions of this advice in the form of “Live life to the fullest” or “You only live once.” The only way to live life in such an intense way is to take risks.
(2) Counterclaim: Living every day as if it were your last has its limits, though. There is a danger in acting recklessly with little regard to your own personal safety. And, living intensely all of the time creates lots of stress which is bad for your health. So while taking risks sounds like the right thing to do, in practice it requires some restraint and smart thinking.
(3) Essential Question: Students are professional risk-takers. Ask them: “When is risk-taking really worth it?”
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