Discretion is “recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could have undesirable consequences” Sometimes the wisest course of action is to say nothing at all and remove yourself from a situation—or—just to be patient and wait for the right moment.

When we apply discretion to our lives, we are able to “separate” out those words, actions, and attitudes which could have undesirable consequences. Just as a policeman directs traffic to run in an orderly and safe manner, discretion helps direct our words and actions to avoid accidents and situations that bring harm to ourselves and other people.

  1. Think about what I am going to say and do.
  2. Consider the consequences.
  3. Check my attitude.
  4. Practice good manners.
  5. Learn from my mistakes and commit to doing better.

Discussion Starters:

  • What are some situations you will encounter today in which what you don’t do is more important than what you do?
  • How can you keep a good perspective so you can identify what words, actions, and attitudes might bring undesirable consequences?
  • What is the opposite of discretion? How does being rash or careless affect you and the people around you?
  • How do you think discretion will benefit you in life?

(Permission granted to reproduce this lesson for educational use. Credit: CharacterFirstEd.com

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