Challenge as Opportunity
Recently, I heard a great quote from Ross Lyon, former AFL coach turned master pundit: ‘We are forged when the real heat comes.’ Here, he posits that adversity – a redoubtable constant in the human experience - has the ability to teach us, to strengthen us, if we are open to it. He proffered that with the right mindset, conflict and challenge can be rebadged as opportunity to grow skills and character. This statement, to me, straddled that elusive line between being realistic and optimistic – the line where the truth is often found. It stuck with me.
Without wishing to state the obvious, we are most definitely being challenged at the moment. For many of our boys, the lack of social interaction, the paucity of freedom, the compression of home and school are deeply uncomfortable. The abolition of extra-curricular events – things that add colour and drive connectedness – adds to this malaise. However, amongst this, opportunity emerges. This opportunity centers upon using strengths to get through this tough period. Practically, it is creating and maintaining good habits. Using time well. Trying hard. Doing the things that aid personal wellbeing. Looking to help others as they navigate through these odd, fraught days.
Many of our boys are using this time to develop their characters. You can see it – instead of getting to class online a minute late, they are there at the start. Work is being submitted. A re-draft of an essay, sitting down to re-do a maths problem. Reaching out to a mate who seemed a bit flat. Getting out for a walk at lunchtime. Being helpful around the house (!). Broadly, this is using their strengths to find meaning and purpose.
In amongst these unsettling times, where bad news is prevalent, these small positive narratives are happening. It’s important to acknowledge them: it gives us hope.
I congratulate our boys who are doing their very best over this period. It will hold them in good stead when we get back to our normal lives. And I thank our families who are walking with them, and us, during this time.
We look forward to working with you all over the coming weeks and using this difficult time as an opportunity for further growth of our boys.
Mr Chris Pye | Director of Students