Today, Friday, is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy which rang the death knell of the great evils of Nazism and Fascism, which had loomed like a spectre over the world for decades, and had caused the deaths of tens of millions of men, women and children. The staggering courage of the men who landed on those beaches on this day seventy years ago is the stuff of legend and, in our cossetted and safe world, hard to conceive. But we owe them a debt of gratitude.
One way of repaying that debt is to raise a generation of young men and women full of courage and service. At JCS we do this by giving the children opportunities to step over their emotional barriers to right action. A tentative child is encouraged to commit fully, a self-absorbed child, to care for others, and a timid child is encouraged to stride out on a stage in front of a hundred adults and children and recite lengthy verses in Sanskrit.
The Sanskrit Recitation is one of the many jewels in the JC Crown and the children, teachers and organisers are to be warmly congratulated on a superb event. The Vice Consul of India Mr Harjeet Sethi was most impressed and offered enthusiastic praise for the children’s efforts.
And many thanks also to those who read my State of the School presentation, and to those who came to give their input in person last Monday. The discussion was wide ranging, and, at times, lively, but all in the spirit of care for the children. The notes from the meeting will be circulated next week.
An upcoming date to remember is 21st August when Dr Craig Hassed, a distinguished Australian expert on mindfulness, will give a presentation at the school. All parents and their friends are invited. Mindfulness is one of the key features of the school and lately we have been presenting it as the following all-purpose guide for life: first, Stillness; second, Attention; then Action.
Last week’s Puzzle: name the highest mountains on each continent: Asia – Mt Everest; Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro; Nth America – Mt McKinley; Sth America- Aconcagua; Europe – either Mont Blanc or Mt Elbrus depending where you consider the border of Europe to be; Australia – Mt Kosciusko (or Mt Heard, likewise); Antarctica – Mt Vinson.
This week’s puzzle: What is the lowest point on the earth on dry land?