When I taught, these three words would be on the bulletin board in front of the classroom. Without knowing it, the students were learning the three parts of a prudential act, which are Good Counsel, Good Judgment, and Command. These parts are necessary for one to practice the virtue of prudence, which simply means “right reason in action.”
Of course, using those “big words” with the little ones would have been overwhelming for them. This is why I kept it simple: Pray, think, act.
Pray: Prayer is a conversation with God. Therefore, before we do anything, it is essential to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, seeking counsel from Him. (And I would also include seeking the counsel of others, including those who may not agree with you. Of course, this is for the big decisions in life.)
Think: Take a few moments to think about the situation.
Act: Follow through with your decisions.
When I was a principal and students would be sent to my office, I would tell them that they needed to reverse what had just happened: namely, they acted, then thought about the consequences, and then prayed to not get into trouble. They had it backwards! This advice applies to everyone. Let us all strive to pray, think, and act each day.
We are pleased to announce a new section for Education in Virtue. It is an Idea Bank for educators to find teaching ideas and tips. Please send us your ideas so we can build a community of virtuous educators.