Life moves quickly and at times it can feel as if we are swimming upstream. In the fast-paced world, we live in many times life is passing us by without us even blinking an eye. If we were to take a moment to reflect, we might just find the answers to why it feels as if we are swimming upstream. In the book Upstream by Dan Heath, he shares in the first chapter a public health parable (adapted from the original, which is commonly attributed to Irving Zola). The parable is the following:
You and a friend are having a picnic by the side of a river. Suddenly you hear a shout from the direction of the water-a child is drowning. Without thinking, you both dive in, grab the child, and swim to shore. Before you can recover, you hear another child cry for help. You and your friend jump back into the river to rescue her as well. Then another struggling child drifts into sight…and another…and another. The two of you can barely keep up. Suddenly, you see your friend wading out of the water, seeming to leave you alone. “Where are you going?” you demand. Your friend answers, “I’m going upstream to tackle the guy who’s throwing all these kids in the water.”
It is so easy to focus on responding, putting out fires, and handling emergencies. We take care of the problems but do not always seek out solutions on how to make improvements. For example, in our fast-growing community, we drive down one road and see no houses, just open land, and then within days a subdivision or business is beginning to take shape. Have we become comfortable with the scenery or are we just too busy to notice the changes in front of us?
We are well underway in the second semester of the school year which is hard to believe but I challenge you to find ways to stop the cycle of swimming upstream. Our students in Prosper ISD are changing rapidly and our seniors at both Prosper High School and Rock Hill High School will be moving on to their next stage of life in the blink of an eye. The first-grader will soon become a fifth-grader, a middle schooler, and then a graduate. Life happens fast just like the water in a stream can move quickly. I encourage you to pause, look for the patterns, see solutions and be willing to wade out of the water to go find the guy who is throwing all these kids in the water.
We Are Prosper, We Are One!
Dr. Holly Ferguson
Prosper ISD Superintendent