This week we are concentrating on gratitude. This fits in well with the themes of Anzac Day where a grateful nation remembers its warriors; and Easter where the self-sacrificial love advocated by Christianity met its apogee.
We have much to be grateful for – family, friends, health, living in a vibrant and prosperous nation with traditions of free elections, free speech and traditions of respect for individual rights and liberties.
Gratitude is perhaps one of the easier virtues, as it is usually called upon when something nice happens to us. But there is an aspect of gratitude which is counterintuitive. And that is the gratitude we feel when we are tested, challenged or otherwise confronted with something we do not find so pleasant. When we have the opportunity to dig deep and draw on reserves of strength and fortitude to face a situation we might not have wished for ourselves.
Like the sick or injured man who is grateful to the doctor no matter how harsh the treatment; the athlete grateful to the coach no matter how hard she is pushed; or the student grateful to the teacher who, seeing his potential, piles on the work. Similarly life itself is the doctor, the coach and the teacher; and the intelligent response to the harder lessons is deep gratitude.
We were discussing this in Assembly on Monday and one six-year old said: “You should be grateful for bad things because, if someone who doesn’t like you sees you forgiving someone else, they might see you’re nice and start liking you.”
But these past few weeks we have some of the more pleasant things to be grateful for: our chess team won in the Northern beaches Chess Competition with an unprecedented perfect score, and the girls’ team came second in their division. Congratulations to all our chess players. And congratulations are due to the 6th class and Mrs Allcorn as their art work was once again chosen to be hung by the Gallipoli Art Prize Committee.
And finally it seems that not a day goes by without the school achieving fame and fortune in some newspaper or other. This does not happen by luck. Mrs James and Ms Coubrough have done the heavy lifting here and we all owe them our gratitude for getting the John Colet story out to the world.