As I write this blog, we have entered a historic week during which we celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on one end and witness the inauguration of the new President of the United States on the other. We have been in a time of great divide in our country, and we pray that the new government will work to bring us all together again as a unified nation. My trust is in God, and my great hope rests with the next generation. When I look at the fresh, idealistic faces of our students, it is with them that I want to put my energy and that of our school. They are the hope. They are the future.
This month, as we focus on the value of Justice, we spoke in Chapel of our responsibility to work for justice for all people. Our students are well aware of fairness and equality. Just try to do something special or show favoritism to a group of a few! Trust me…they know about Justice. But we went further in our discussions and looked at what we should do as people of God. What are the guidelines that we should follow? It’s a simple but challenging list. The prophet Micah made it clear. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Kindness, compassion, humility, fairness, justice. It’s what we talk about daily, and it’s what I see in action more times than not.
Last Friday, for the first time, our middle school students went out into the Tucson community as a collective group to perform service in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They were divided into small groups and, with the help of parent and faculty chaperones, traveled to eight different service agencies to help. They learned about the work of the selected organization and then assisted in various jobs that needed to be done. As I spoke with several of the agency representatives, they gave glowing reports about our students, their spirit, their conduct, and their desire to make a difference. Students were eager to help, and their cooperative spirit was contagious. Everyone returned with a deeper understanding of the needs in our community and a desire to do this again, and perhaps more often. It really was a day to remember and a day to give back.
Our students saw firsthand that kindness, compassion, a helping hand, and sharing out of our abundance can change a life. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Important work was done, and a deeper understanding of justice, equality, and the importance of kindness was an end result. Life lessons are often not learned in a classroom. They are learned when we go out into the world with eyes open to see God’s hand at work in the world about us. Justice, mercy, and humility: they can change the world.