Posted by Mr Christopher Campbell
on 26 February 2020
Welcome back to all members of the Southern Cross Community. It has been an excellent start to the new year and a great pleasure to see the happy faces of the children, the relaxed faces of the staff and on occasion the slightly relieved faces of some of the mums and dads.
The beginning of a new year always brings an excitement for the times ahead. When that beginning of a new year is also the beginning of a new decade, the enthusiasm seems to be greater.
There is a great sense of what could happen. The endless possibilities of untapped opportunity. Sure, it is hard to get back into the uniform and adapt to the discipline and requirements of the school day. However, the challenge is to see beyond this. Allow ourselves to see that we are being presented, as young people, a chance to do or be or achieve anything at all.
The Lasallian theme for this year is "Great things are possible". In order to appreciate this completely, I think we need to pause for a moment and define the word "great". What does it mean to be great or to do great things?
If we search back through history, reference will be made to great people or great events. For example, in 1994 Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black Head of State. He was responsible for dismantling the system known as Apartheid, which promoted racial segregation and white supremacy. This required courage, determination and commitment. Mandela is rightly called a great man. But do we need to do what Mandela accomplished to be great ourselves? The answer of course is "no". All of us can live a life of greatness. A life of great deeds which define us as great people.
Sometimes we are thrown unsuspectingly into a situation where our greatness will shine. The amazing courage and honour of our fire services who lost their lives on the line to fight a terrifying monster, totally out of control. The great love of members of communities who supported and at times saved friends, neighbours or people they had never met before, from the devastation of the fires.
However, for many of us we will never be placed into such a situation. Nevertheless, we still need to be great. We still need to do great things. We still need to find our greatness in the everyday routines that will make up our lives.
Perhaps greatness is to be found in the application of some key words.
"Courage", where we make a stand for what is right. Not allowing those amongst us, who out of their own insecurities and frustrations, target or bully others in our community.
"Compassion", where we learn to empathize with the less fortunate. Looking for ways to support people who are old and less able to look after themselves. Befriending someone at school who may be different in that they don't make friends easily or have the natural skills or gifts that many of us have.
"Respect", where we acknowledge the sacrifices that others make on our behalf. For our students this means reorganizing what our parents are prepared to do for us. For our community, a respect for our staff who are totally committed to ensuring the best quality education they are capable of producing.
These are the types of things which are the marks of greatness. That doesn't mean that greatness will come easily, what it does mean though, is that we can all be great. It is possible that some of us will be called to do as Nelson Mandela was. For most of us this will not be the case. We will work hard all our lives. We will either consciously or unconsciously apply the Lasallian Core Principals of Respect, Faith, be educated, apply social justice and include everyone in all that we do.
If we can all attempt to achieve this then we have every chance of being great. There is every possibility that we will do great things. Either way, it is an achievable goal for 2020 and one that we should use to se our internal compass for our life journey.
All the best for a great year.