Sunday, December 12, 2021

A person's compassionate speech and actions are like sunshine, clean water, and flowers which bring brightness, purity and joy to the world - Hsing Yun.

From one of my students (name covered)

The Recognition of Excellence ceremonies happened on Friday, the last day for students and staff for the year (although staff will continue to come into the campus during the next week and I have plenty to occupy my mind before I'm done for the year).

I certainly feel appreciated in my job - there were loads of lovely comments from colleagues yesterday that I really felt humbled to receive.

During the day, two completely unsolicited moments deeply affected me.

The message written in Sharpie on a folded up piece of A4 paper by a Year 10 student (4th form for older readers) will go into my glory box of memories.

The student in question is quiet and unassuming - I initiate a hello to them every day (I won't identify their gender) and they say hello back. That's about the extent of our daily interaction as we both get on with our days.

I was genuinely surprised when I was handed a bag of presents. Later, when I got back home I saw the 'card' in the bag.

Thing is, they are in Year 10 (a year group that is not generally noted for its sentimentality) and the student didn't need to give me anything. Didn't need to write any message at all.  

But they did. They took a moment to send me that message which, little do they know, I will treasure forever.

The second came from a staff member who recently resigned from our campus and so I farewelled her during my speech.

Once the students had all left and we'd packed up, she came to say goodbye and said, "You're the best Principal I've ever worked for".

Woh. That was a lump in the throat moment.

Both of these unsolicited compassionate words were like sunshine - they brought joy to my world and I'll tuck them away into my purer mind (as Wordsworth calls it) and recall these 'little, nameless, unremembered, acts of kindness and of love' when needed.

'Unremembered' by the sender over time, probably, but not by the receiver.

Tintern Abbey has often been a well spring for me and so I'm ending this post with some more lines from that poem, because Wordsworth sums things up better than anyone:

To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: - that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, -
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

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