Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/13/2018 10:00:00 AM

“I can sum up positive psychology in just three words — Other People Matter. Period. Anything that builds relationships between and among people is going to make you happy.” -Dr. Chris Peterson

The Positivity Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s youth build stronger relationships by recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others. Their vision is to create citizens and leaders who will enhance our communities and country by internalizing the belief that “Other People Matter.” Positive psychology’s scientifically validated 24 character strengths serve as its foundation. Positive psychology teaches that people have all 24 strengths within them – and that character is not just skills or behaviors, but rather an intrinsic part of each of us. – posproject.org

A few weeks ago, five members of our staff had the opportunity to hear Mike Erwin, President and Co-Founder of the Positivity Project (P2), talk about the science behind positive psychology.  While we’d spent last year beginning our adventure with P2, learning about the traits and teaching them to the students, our team had the chance to dive deeper into the idea that through focusing on our character strengths and those of the people around us, we can help build strong, respectful relationships. We talked about the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated.  We also talked about the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they want to be treated.

We know that healthy relationships are a big part of a healthy life. During our workshop we talked about the care and attention that it takes to build and maintain healthy relationships.  We also talked about the challenges that students face today in developing those relationships. Social media provides a false sense of relationships and of ways people should interact. It is so easy to be mean through a screen!  One of the changes to P2 this year is a focus every few weeks on #otherpeoplematter. During these weeks we will try to view the strengths through the experiences of real people.

To personalize our focus on the character strengths, each staff member has taken the assessment and we are posting our top three character strengths outside our doors.  We hope this will be a way to connect with students, parents, and colleagues alike.

We hope that you will seek opportunities to talk about these character strengths and strong relationships with your students throughout the year and in the years to come!  As we assess the impacts of Hurricane Florence this weekend, we will all I’m sure there will be many opportunities for us to show our belief that other people matter!

Stay safe!

Christi Whiteside

Director, Endeavor Charter School