Good Judgment

It is one of my favorite times of the year: easing into the Christmas and holiday season. Our family will all be together this year for Christmas, which is not guaranteed now that our children are older.

One of our college-aged kids is home. I pick up the other one later today, after my last 2019 Board meeting. Before driving back, we will stop at a favorite Italian place for dinner.

There is no crisis among my portfolio companies, and they are pre-reporting Q4 numbers that are at forecast or better. So, I am happy for those management teams.

I write this post before dawn, hot coffee at the ready, in front of a fireplace. It is one of my favorite things to do in winter.  I love writing, and a quiet winter morning gives me time to reflect.

2019 has been an interesting year for me. Thankfully, all of my problems are of the First World kind: everyone in our family is healthy. My children continue to be hard-working and honest. They seem to be making good decisions.

I tell my children that the most important thing they can learn in high school is this: positive ways to manage stress. In college, the most important trait I think they can develop is this: good judgment.

Judgment is not something you can learn from a book. It comes by doing, yes, but really more from self-awareness and reading other people, IMO. You know when someone has good judgment. And, it is obvious when someone doesn’t.

Good judgment is the first step to developing wisdom. And, college is a fantastic time for that. You get to get up and sleep whenever you want. You have nearly complete freedom to take the classes for which you have affinity. And, socially, it is a dynamic and exciting time.

And, yet, college also can be risky, both academically and socially. There are many occasions for making bad decisions. Hopefully, most bad situations can be undone over time.

I really like the judgment that my children seem to be developing. As a parent, you are only as happy as your unhappiest child. Everything is so much easier if they know positive ways with which to manage stress. And, it is a bonus if you feel they are developing good judgment.

A sincere wish for a happy and safe winter holiday season for you all.

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