Saturday, June 24, 2023

Q&A with Richard Gary Shear




Richard Gary Shear is the author of the new book Everything We Should Have Taught You in High School, But Never Did. Dr. Shear has been the principal of four high schools, and is a national consultant on school reform. 



Q: What inspired you to write Everything We Should Have Taught You in High School, But Never Did?


A: Everything We Should Have Taught You in High School, But Never Did actually is an outgrowth of my Principal’s Commencement Address given to my students. I served as the principal of four high schools during my career and officiated at many graduation ceremonies.


Recognizing there was so much life advice and wisdom we had not shared; I converted my graduation address to bring forward important wisdom to make the next steps in their life journey easier and more rewarding.


Additionally, I have been advising students and parents for over four decades on life issues and circumstances. The book is based on those two things: my graduation addresses and life wisdom I shared with students and parents.


Q: What are some of the most important lessons you write about in the book?


A: The book is 75 life lessons based on wisdom. The most important ones will actually be in the eye of the beholder. For some it might be advice on happiness, for others it might be wisdom on what leads to a successful life.

To me the most important advice would be to learn to forgive oneself for mistakes that are part of life. We often look back on things we should have done differently and spend very little time thinking about all the things we did right.


Additionally, the importance of having a positive disposition and being resilient and not letting failure stop the pursuit of fulfilling one’s dreams are among my favorite portions of the book.


Q: What do you think high school graduation speakers should tell the graduating seniors?


A: Graduation addresses should speak truth. There is no substitute for hard work, a positive disposition, and being a good person. Doing the right thing in life by other people is a road to personal happiness.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?


A: I hope that readers come away from the book with the understanding that life can be wonderful and full of joy. But just like a user’s manual you might study to set up a piece of technology, this book is a manual filled with wisdom to enhance your life and the lives of those around you.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am presently involved with multiple projects. Promoting a play I wrote, writing my next book and helping others through caring and the spreading of wisdom about life.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I think something we all should know is that together we are at our best, separated we are often adrift searching for what we knew all along, that we are at our best when we are helping each other.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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