Headmaster's Weekly Comment - image  on https://www.johncolet.nsw.edu.au

Headmaster’s Weekly Comment

The School has its Vision, its Mission, and its Values, and our constant endeavour is to make them living breathing guides to action.  Because circumstances are always shifting and changing it is no good to lay down exhaustively detailed inflexible rules.  At the same time too much flexibility and the virtue can get compromised out of existence. 

Aristotle is quite helpful here.  He advised that the Virtues, into practice, can be discovered at the balance point between deficiency and excess.  So, for example, a deficiency of Diligence is laziness, and an excess of it can become a sort of headless-chicken frenetic activity.  A deficiency of Wisdom is ignorance, and an excess of it can become know-it-all pontification.  Somewhere in between these two extremes is the temperate mean which adjusts itself to circumstances.

We have been considering Courage this term.  A deficiency of Courage is cowardice, and an excess of it can become foolhardy bravado.  Between these two extremes lies that quiet inner strength which can sum up the right thing to do or say in a situation, and then can summon the will to enact that knowledge regardless of circumstances.  And also has the fortitude to learn from any minor errors made along the way. 

Herein lies the sort of Courage we aspire to for ourselves and for the children.