Welcome back to Term 4. I trust everyone had a restful, enjoyable break. Term 4 has some wonderful highlights including the primary Shakespeare Festival, which also involves a visit from John Bell of the Bell Shakespeare Company. Later in November we have the Christmas Celebration including the Nativity Play performed by 2nd Class. And there is Speech Night which includes singing, speeches by various luminaries, including my personal favourites – the Head Boy and Girl; and of course prizes for academic, sporting and personal achievement. And it also marks the graduation of this year’s 6th Class. This is always a poignant moment when we say goodbye to another cohort of fine young men and women, as they set out on the next stage of life’s journey.
In that apparent movement through the milestones of life it is good to acknowledge the things that don’t change – friendship, family and the timeless values which we are always working to set before the children.
One of the most important values is expressed beautifully in the 5th commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Honouring one’s parents is a paramount human duty. It is the first circle of love, from which a child’s sphere can expand to encompass and love, their teachers, friends, colleagues, co-religionists, fellow countrymen, and, ultimately, all of humanity and, in deed, nature.
There is an esoteric interpretation of this commandment. It is based on its placement among the the first five commandments which are those between Man and God; rather than in the second group of five – those between Man and Man. According to this interpretation Father represents God, the limitless pure consciousness; and Mother stands for Nature, the whole Universe including its laws and powers and universal principles like Love and Justice and so on. Thus the 4th commandment enjoins us to honour both God and Nature, with the promise of a long life in the land God gave us. A realm of the Divine, where such values as compassion, care, courage and unity are the common birthright of all it’s inhabitants.