From the Principal’s Desk – 16 March, 2017
There is a saying from Anne Bradstreet that goes something like this:
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
In light of the recent devastating events in our Hout Bay community there has been much talk of the resurrection of the “Rainbow Nation”, coming together again to help and support each other in a time of crisis. Although it is important to acknowledge the seriousness of the events last Saturday and be concerned about the plight of those affected by these events, it is equally important to recognise that it is in times such as these that life can provide amazing opportunities for all of us to learn from.
One of the things I witnessed this past week was how ordinary people managed to achieve extraordinary things. From those who stood up to help direct and manage the huge outpouring of generosity from the community, to those that gave of themselves and their time to volunteer throughout the week. It took a tragic event to allow opportunities for all of us to serve and get involved.
This adversity has also taught many of us to understand the valuable emotion of empathy and hopefully at the same time humble ourselves by seeing “life on the other side of the divide”. It has been a time of counting our blessings and maybe looking at our own lives and relationships with a renewed sense of appreciation and gratefulness. I also feel that this week has been a powerful metaphor for each of us in that it is important to know that life is made up of mountains and valleys, and countless highs and lows. Without this ebb and low of life one cannot truly appreciate the highs and many wonderful things that life can bring. I am also reminded of the age old metaphor of what it takes to make a diamond. The intense pressure and heat that a lump of coal has to endure to come out at the other end a rather beautiful and precious stone.
Education cannot be limited to what schools can provide alone. We have to be open to the many life lessons we are exposed to, from other people, events in our immediate vicinity and most certainly events in our world. More than ever we need our children to be open to these lessons. Shielding them from these lessons (good or bad), solving the problems that they face for them and giving them excuses not experience them, robs them of the many opportunities to grow both personally and within the context of their social group.
I witnessed some of these powerful lessons this week and I am incredibly proud of our students, parents and staff.
My hope is that we as a school community can continue to show the wider Cape Town community (and the world) that we are truly living our mission of “growing leaders for the future who are caring individuals” thus helping make the world a better place for us all.