When the worst happens…

This week it is time to pause and reflect in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy in Las Vegas and contemplate our response to this and other tragedies around the world.  We’ve just emerged from multiple storms and significant human suffering in the United States, the crisis with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the multiple war and conflict fronts around the world, and now the worst mass shooting in US modern history.

First and foremost, we reach out our thoughts and prayers to all who may have been impacted by this string of misfortune.  We know that often members of our own community are connected through family and acquaintance with those who have been harmed by these events.  Our hearts reach out to those who are impacted by violence, no matter where or how.  Our most important human quality is our compassion for those in need and for those we have lost.

Please know that conversations at school often try to help students, in age appropriate ways, understand the bombardment of media and gossip.  We create open forums for expressing ideas and reflections on feelings that emerge in the shadow of significant events.  We will always try to make sure that this dialog is respectful and open to different points of view, valuing all in a comfortable and academic dialog.

Because we value diversity, I would also suggest that ASW, like schools of our nature around the world, aspire to values that seek to resolve conflict through peaceful means.  One of our most important values, and one that will be on display in all pageantry on United Nations Day, is the message of inclusiveness.  The idea that we can all sit together, seek redress to our concerns and not be excluded because our ideas or backgrounds are different than those across the table.  In fact, we not only embrace that diversity, we depend upon it to help us see things in ways we might not have considered – ways that can help us solve the problems that future generations must tackle.

Please join me in encouraging in our children, the ones we raise together as a village, to keep open minds and engaged hearts in all their encounters in life.  We are hopeful that the children we prepare today will find ways to eliminate the tools of violence in favor of ensuring that solutions to world problems are inclusive and empowering to all.

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