From the Principal

Losses and Gains (A 2021 Reflection)

The scorecard for many of us in 2021 may seem to be tilted in favour of losses over wins.

It is easy to find only the downside of life in 2021.

“What do you want from me?
It’s not how it used to be.
You’ve taken my life away,
Ruining everything.”

The biggest and most most obvious losses include:

  • We lost (at least temporarily) the right to travel, to visit, to celebrate and to play;
  • We lost people we cared about and loved;
  • Some people lost their faith in the political process;
  • Some lost hope;
  • Some in our society seem to have lost their sense of balance in regard to personal freedom versus social responsibility.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes it is worth pausing and remembering that we are still here, still relatively safe and still have things to look forward to.

Even in this strange and turbulent world we are still getting some things right.

Our wins/wins this year include:

  • Our health system has been able to function in the face of overwhelming stress;
  • A renewed appreciation and faith in those who work in the health frontline, offering protection and care for all of us;
  • The capacity of our teachers and staff to deal with whatever circumstance throw at us – balancing professional effort and integrity with the management of family and other personal responsibilities;
  • A realisation that education is really more than knowledge accumulation and that the social and emotional value of attending school has never been more obvious;
  • The growth in resilience of the students and staff who have faced down uncertainty, fear, mixed messages, restrictions and loss and kept on learning, laughing and supporting each other.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

How we face uncertainty and potential loss is the key to growth.

Experience what happens → Learn from the experience → Move on better, smarter and stronger.

This is an approach that doesn’t ignore the downside of life but uses the experience to grow and be better prepared for the next hill we have to climb.

Socrates might have been right (they had plagues in his time too): “Not life, but good life is to be chiefly valued.”

There are challenges ahead of us that we cannot foresee.

There will be times of frustration, sadness and loss.

There will be …… what will be.

We have the choice to live in fear and helplessness or in hope and willingness to live a life worth living.

“Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1 Peter 1:13

And remember:

Terry Muldoon
Principal

Want to share your thoughts on this story, or do you have something you’d like to add? Email me at principal@scas.nsw.edu.au

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