I came upon this quote recently by Mattie Stepanek and it really resonated with me, particularly following the recent terror attack in London. He was a boy who died at the age of 13 in 2004 having suffered from a rare disorder called dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy. He was a poet and an author with an ambition to change the world. His 2 wishes were for world peace and a world without illness. That’s pretty big thinking for a 10 year old. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, described him as “the most extraordinary person whom I have ever known.” I decided to read a little more about him and came to appreciate the simple beauty of his words. He said that;
‘Wars should be fought with words, not bombs, not weapons. And calm words. I think that wars should be fought over a chessboard and a cup of something to drink.’
I think this is rather pertinent given the events of recent days in London. I have watched on the news as you will have done; at the horror, the cold-hearted face of humanity and also the bravery, the unity and the kindness of people.
I imagine that many of you, like me, have walked over Westminster Bridge, paused to take a photo of the Houses of Parliament in the background with your family and friends, not thinking for one moment that your life was in danger. My eldest daughter was on that very bridge just last week at a teaching conference. Two of my grandchildren were there during February half term. Their first ever visit to London ‘to go and see the Queen!’
At our School we extol the values of tolerance and forgiveness. We work hard to try to gain a better understanding of the world in which we all live. We learn to appreciate and welcome cultural and religious diversity. We know that by gaining an understanding and appreciation of our differences we will become closer and come to the realisation that together we can achieve so much more than by working alone. We know that it is the children of today that will be our future.
I’ll leave the final words to Mattie,
‘If it came to a magic genie, I would ask him for two extra wishes. One would be that no one would have to live with the muscular dystrophy disease or any disease. And the second one would be world peace, that we just stop fighting, talk about things, and we could live in harmony once again, like God intended us to do.’
“Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek
In a poignant speech In Dublin 2011 at a state dinner Queen Elizabeth said ‘The lessons from the peace process are clear; whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load.’
It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to here It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.
~C. S. Lewis
You will be aware that the new Uttoxeter Learning Trust will officially be formed on 1st April.
“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” –Patrick Lencioni
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
“The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.”
― Aaron Lauritsen,
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
~Sydney J. Harris