“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
– Matthew 7:12
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
– Romans 12:10
As most of you will be aware, at NBCS our values are gratitude, respect, courage, and compassion. While there are many other values that we could rightly include, our aim was to choose a small number of key values, and spend time embedding them within our lives and our community. In Term 1, across K-12, we did this in assembly, chapel and in learning sessions by exploring the significance of gratitude. This term, we are doing the same thing with respect.
Our values reflect who we are and help determine approaches that will help our community flourish. These values shape how we relate, they guide our strategy and our decision-making. We trust that the values we instil in our students will equip them for the journey ahead.
When we affirm the value of another person, when we listen to them and consider their needs, we build trust, and, ultimately, we build a deeper sense of belonging. Respect helps us to build a more resilient and connected community.
In speaking with students and parents, I talk about three things that I think people need to succeed in life: character, effort, and the ability to learn. School is a time during which each of these develops. Each of these things will shape our lives. Without good character, we diminish ourselves and we bring out the worst in others. Without effort, we minimise our potential to make a meaningful difference in our world, we know that almost everything worthwhile comes about because of hard work. Without the ability to learn, we are unable to make sense of the unknown and have no capacity to deal with change or uncertainty.
We need character, effort and learning. We need to respect ourselves and others enough to develop each of these things in ourselves. Respect enables us to acknowledge self and others. A lack of respect devalues not only us, but others too.
You will be familiar with the ‘golden rule’ found in Jesus’ teaching – do to others what you would have them do to you’. The ‘silver rule’ is a variation of it – do not do to others what you do not want done to you. I like that in Jesus’ words, it is about the presence of positive acts, rather than merely the absence of negative ones.
I appreciate that overall, our students show respect for themselves, for each other and for their school. I remind all our students of the opportunity to be a good example to others all the time, in the way that they speak, the language that they use and the responsibility that they demonstrate in leaving things in better order than they found them.
Respect is a two-way street. As staff, we aim to show respect to garner it. We are fortunate to be part of the NBCS community, and each of us aims to make it a place that provides all within it the dignity and respect that they deserve as people made in the image of God.