Be Better. Two words that should hang over the door of every American classroom and probably every American home.
These two words are the solution to our educational problems, and could very well be used to solve a whole fucking bunch of our societal ills as well.
They provide the perfect measure for creating real data for testing that can be used in real life in lieu of the current testing data that in all likelihood is only used to keep total nerds and political interns awake at night. Are you doing better is not a question that is easily left behind in the classroom at night. Neither does it suffer greatly from the great debate between the technological and the traditional that has the educational establishment feuding like the Hatfields and the McCoys.
The words are the basis of nearly every religious screed in existence. They have scientific backing in that they are also manifested in the workings of our DNA. These two simple words can also be said to summarize the underlying theme of every piece of the great literature or music ever produced.
Literature states the hero of the story must learn to overcome obstacles in order to transform his/her life for the better. Too often we don't pay attention to how that works and cut to the happily ever after without ever taking notice of the process involved in the change. It takes courage, bravery and resolution to look at your circumstances and understand that there is not only always need for improvement but also recognize the deeply embedded need inside us all to undergo this adventure that leads toward the fundamental transformation of the self.
In comparison, if we use the current educational models to create literature, the hero would come to a halt at the foot of the first obstacle waiting for some other random travelers so that they could come up with a plan to circumvent the obstacle, either that or form a committee to approach their communal leaders with a petition to address the problem.
That's not really how life works. Talking to other people and sharing wisdom is fine, seeking advice is fine, but it's not going to lead to any great personal spiritual transformation, it's not going to teach us how to cope as individuals, or show us how to fix the personalized traumatic issues that originate inside us all. You can not learn to become a fully healthy functioning individual by deriving your knowledge of self from others. It is as silly as allowing the navigator of the Titanic to chart your course after he told you not worry about the iceberg ahead because it looms so small above the water.
Becoming better provides us each with a personalized North Star that is always just ahead despite of how many times we have failed or how far we have deviated from the straight and narrow. It allows us to get free from all the baggage of our past.
The greatest thing of all, it is as simple as a forward step.