Celebrating Success on Many Different Fronts…
This is an excerpt from the Head of School Speech to the 2021 Graduates:
There was one thing that came to my mind when thinking of you, the graduating class of 2021. And what came to my mind was courage, the courage to learn, and to live well, in the face of adversity.
The pandemic has not defined your graduating year; it is only just one part of it. Your graduating year has much more to do with how you are beginning to choose, of your own free will and accord, to participate in life, in a good way. The pandemic is the extra part, the part that has required you to step through the gates of a very narrow passageway. And you, as a graduating class, have chosen to step through that passageway with kindness, laughter, empathy, and grace.
To me, that is true courage. To take what is hard and make it not only meaningful but rewarding. So, what does it mean to have courage? It is having the courage to learn. Being open to learning, from others or from life. Learning requires one to be comfortable with not knowing in order to gain knowledge and true understanding. When I talk of courage, I speak to that part of you that said yes, even when sometimes you wanted to say no. It takes courage to move towards adversity in a way in which you are willing to learn from it. Waldorf Education is based on these principles, and its curriculum is crafted intentionally. Now as graduates, you will need to give yourselves this precious gift, and this can only be done by facing adversity with an open heart and mind.
Neitzche thought that we should not fear difficulty but learn to rise up to it. He suggested that those who overcome hardship, could expect to experience deeper feelings of joy and happiness, that one was necessary to fully appreciate the other. Nietzsche would advise us not to ‘hope’ for an easy passage through life but rather accept and integrate obstacles as we work towards becoming better people.
It’s clear that life and work will continue to present you with challenges and obstacles, just as it has done this year. As you move into this next chapter in your lives, you will have the choice to take each challenge as an opportunity for personal development. Over the past few years, I have watched each of you choose to be kind and inclusive, speak with thoughtfulness and reflect on your choices.
We all have faith in you and are in awe of your humanness.
Rubeena Sandhu, Head of School, WWS