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Part of our job, as teachers, is to share the wisdom of others and to add to it some of our own so that our students can know it and in turn add their own and are therefore well-equipped to make their way in the world. ​As we move into term and the routines that help us in our work and learning, I share with you some collected but not necessarily connected thoughts about friendship, love and learning.

Lots gets written about friendships and about how we ought to seek friends and be friends. I love the words from Stacking Chairs, a song by the band, Middle Kids.

“There is no map for this.
When the wheels come off, I’ll be your spare,
When the party’s over, I’ll be stacking the chairs,
When the world turns on you, I will be there. I will be there.”

In the space of a few lines, in one chorus, we have a wonderful encapsulation of friendship. What Middle Kids have written and sung is a simple and accurate depiction of what real friendship is. Be that type of friend: supportive, sustaining and there not just in the good times, but in the hard times, not just during the party, but also when the party’s over.

Some of you may know that my parents were both teachers and that it was the one thing I said I would never be. Nonetheless, in the end, it is what I gravitated to. My father, having spent 50 years in education including more than half of that time as a principal, shared the following quote from CS Lewis with his grandchildren (three of whom are doing the HSC this year) as they kicked off this term.

“A more Christian attitude, which can be attained at any age, is that of leaving the future in God’s hands. We may as well, for God will certainly retain it whether we leave it to him or not. Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future.

Happy work is best done by the person who takes their long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord’. It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done, or any grace received.” CS Lewis, The Weight Of Glory

Lewis’ words are, in my experience, always worth pondering.

And to finish, some ideas from two men who worked together, successfully, for many decades, as perhaps the world’s most successful investors. First, from Charlie Munger who urges us not to make all the mistakes ourselves, and second, Warren Buffett, who urges us to acknowledge that it’s not the absence of mistakes that counts, but the ability to “right the ship” from there that matters.

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” Charlie Munger

“Wrong decisions are part of life. Being able to make them work anyway is one of the abilities of those who are successful.” Warren Buffett

Tim Watson