Stop and Think
There are many things we do without really knowing why. These experiences of every day reveal themselves but often the reasons for doing them do not. Sitting at a desk, deep in the throes of a problem to be solved, suddenly the realisation hits that the pen in our hand is clicking. Rhythmically, a thumb presses down, it marks the beat of our thoughts. Perhaps as we sit in a waiting room, the seconds ticking away before an appointment we notice the world vibrating. As the view before us bobs up and down we notice our leg bouncing at high frequency, pivoting through an ankle off a foot carefully balanced on toes set on the floor. I personally often find myself arranging pens on my desk. The coloured pens I use to check items off my “to do” list. Red pen, job not done, do it tomorrow — or perhaps the day after that — green pen, job done, well done and blue pen, keep working on it. I find myself aligning three colours with strict protocols, razor-sharp accuracy and no idea why.
Conversely, crystal clarity can associate itself into the routine of every day. Below is an answer posed by one of our Year 10 men about Inclusive Community.
Inclusive Community: SEC believes in inclusive community. We accept those from ages 7-12, no matter their looks or abilities, we try and allow those among us to shine in the way only they can, displaying their talents for others to admire. We try to bring out the unique side that everyone has but can’t always show. This can be reflected in our school choirs, our extracurricular sport, our occasional mass or religious ceremony, we try and embrace the cultures around us, and in turn create a new one. That is the culture of St Edmund’s, a fusion of all our beliefs and rituals, students and teachers. As written in John, “do not judge by appearances, but judge by right judgement”.
The clicking pens, shaking legs and arranged markers all come into flawless focus with the reasons why. This young man confirmed our purpose, why we do what we do in this community, lesson by lesson, day by day, year by year. In an often reasonless, thoughtless and pointless world where we see injustice and harm, here is a reason for doing what we do. These words, “we accept…no matter their looks or abilities…allow those among us to shine in the way only they can”, can and should be the hallmarks of who we are.
This morning some of our young men ― young men of First Nations, Pacifica and African heritage ― presented to our assembly with, authenticity and pain, how they have felt voiceless in a community that prides itself on inclusion. This voicelessness has not been due to any plan or intention or, I hope, malice. Sometimes not knowing why we do something can affect those around us in ways we do not foresee. For these young men, their friends, companions and peers have, taken their voice. With names, words and actions they have, in a community where “we accept”, made them feel not wholly accepted. This powerful presentation finished with simple words “this is our reality – stop and think”.
At Eddies, the Blue and White covers us all, regardless of colour, heritage or origin. For all of our Eddies’ men, taking time to stop and think, to look beyond themselves and know why what they say or do affects others, strengthens us. In becoming aware of who they affect with words and actions our Eddies’ men can, through a simple act, make all the difference in making Eddies a place where “we accept…no matter their looks or abilities” and “allow those among us to shine in the way only they can”.
Ray Celegato, Principal