Weekly Slides

Prudence - Week 13

Don’t fight the problem, decide it.

-GEN George C. Marshall

For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • To see the 1-page Prudence Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.

Starting Monday Partner Schools nationwide will begin learning about the character strength of prudence — which is increasingly rare and valuable in today’s world. This strength builds on last week’s focus on hope, as both are future-oriented. Hope helps you set your vision and prudence helps you make a plan to achieve it.

Prudence is not simply being excessively cautious or self-restrained. And, while it is often exemplified through individual financial savings, prudence applies to all parts of life. Philosophers have discussed the strength for millennia. Aristotle wrote about phronesis or “practical wisdom” — which is farsighted, goal-oriented, and focused on the greater good. And, According to Dr. Chris Peterson, the Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas “named prudence as the principle wisdom, with bravery subordinate to it. It is prudence that provides the wisdom to assess danger; bravery then allows reason to prevail despite fear.”

GEN George C. Marshall, the architect of the Marshall Plan, serves as this week’s character strength example. As Secretary of State following World War II, he led the effort to rebuild war-torn Europe and to reduce the influence of Communist parties within them. And, as the history of communism shows, we should all be grateful for his efforts.

So, why does prudence matter? Prudence supports effective individual self-management. Whether aspiring for an athletic record, academic grade, or purchasing a car, foresight and planning are necessary. However, long-term goals – even with a plan – can only be obtained by overcoming those impulses and desires that steer you away from your goals. Prudence provides the wisdom to know which character strength to leverage, at which time, to achieve your desired end state.

On a group level, prudence is crucial – especially today, as shortsightedness has crept into many parts of life. Prudent individuals will produce a prudent society. And, as always, we need leaders who can think long-term and create the world we want our descendants to inherit. This is why the Roman senator and historian Tacitus said, “Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.”


And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page. Enjoy the slides — and please be sure to let us know how it’s going by posting to Twitter and using the #PositivityInAction hashtag!