During our lessons this week, we will talk about how we can use Self-Control to respond positively to disappointment, using the story of Ike, his hurt knee, and becoming a Goucho. Our in-class discussion lesson for this week follows below:
When he was a few years older, Ike went to college at West Point. He was a cadet there — a student studying to become an officer in the US Army. Ike was a cadet for 4 years, and had done well in his classes — English was his best subject. However, to be commissioned as an officer, he also had to pass a medical exam for overall physical fitness — and this was a problem. Ike had injured his knee badly in a horse-riding accident. The doctor, Colonel Shaw, told Ike that he couldn’t approve him to become an officer because of his weak knee — he was telling him “no”. Ike didn’t lose his temper. He thought for a few minutes, and then told the doctor that he was deeply disappointed he couldn’t be in the army. But on the bright side, he could now pursue his dream of moving to Argentina and becoming a Goucho. Colonel Shaw was astonished — he had expected Ike to sulk or lose his temper. He told Ike he shouldn’t move to Argentina just yet — he wanted to think it over a little more. They met again a few days later, and Colonel Shaw told Ike that he would approve him as an officer — but only if her served in the infantry, where he wouldn’t have to ride a horse. Ike agreed to this, and a few weeks later graduated and was commissioned as part of the West Point class of 1915 — the “Class the Stars Fell On”.
1) Being an army officer, then and now, you have to be very active and physically fit. Do you think Ike knew his injured knee might keep him out of the army?
2) How do you think Ike was using self-control when he told Colonel Shaw that he would move to Argentina and become a Goucho? Was he choosing to be positive in a difficult situation?
3) What do you think would have happened if Ike had lost his temper when Colonel Shaw first told him “no”?
The first picture above is Ike as a West Point cadet. The other three are Gouchos. It would have been a different look for Ike.
Please share your answers to these questions, and your thoughts about Self-Control, with our school community by using the form below.