The Many Meanings of Opportunity


Trish Prentice

September 14, 2018

Whenever I begin to write, I open the online thesaurus on my computer. I’m curious to see the various subtle nuances in meaning for a particular word I might use. It is fascinating to see how two words can be so close in meaning yet maintain a slightly different interpretation. While updating my class website, I looked up the word opportunity. When the long list of related words appeared, my mind began to sort and classify. Immediately, I could see similar yet distinctive threads emerge.

Opportunity = Event, Happening, Fling, Occasion

We are a class, a community, and throughout the year we will have many exciting opportunities for wonderful experiences.

Opportunity = Moment, Time, Hour, Opening, Space

We have only a set number of months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds together. We must not waste a bit of this opportunity.

Opportunity = Stab, Turn, Fair Shake

Everyone has an opportunity to do his or her best.

Opportunity = Hope, Freedom, Connection

Anything is possible when we seize the opportunity to work together.

Opportunity = Good Fortune, Good Luck

If we take full advantage of our opportunities, good things will happen.

It’s incredible to see so many facets in 11 letters. It makes Simon Sinek’s words about opportunity even more powerful: “If you have the opportunity to do amazing things in your life, I strongly encourage you to invite someone to join you.” So, let’s do it: let’s do amazing things and invite our students along. We’ll read, talk, write, hope, share, dream, learn, create, laugh, care, do our best, and build friendships together. What an excellent opportunity for us all.

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