By Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn, Head of School
Last week as I was packing up to go home, I had an unexpected surprise. There was a knock on the office door and a Kindergarten friend was standing with his mother, eager to speak with me. He was carrying a small bag and his eyes were sparkling with joy. I peeked inside the bag and saw a hardcover book, and he quickly reached in to pull it out. “I have one of these books at home and I want you to have one, too. Let me show you how it works.” It was at that point that he began to turn the pages and articulate, quite clearly, how I could begin to journal my gratitude, affirmations, and reflections each day, in five simple minutes. The book is entitled The Five-Minute Journal and it has become a favorite mainstay at my bedside table.
There are many reasons why I appreciate having this journal, but the one that resonates most is that through the eyes and words of a small child, I was quickly reminded of a human’s ability to demonstrate love and compassion for others from the earliest ages. It actually is a natural part of who we are as children and, yet, that compassion can often become hushed as we get older and we become more reserved with our emotions. What is it about adulthood that enables this?
As we move into this special weekend of remembrance and service to others, and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., please know we are committed to helping our students maintain our Life Rules for an eternity. Like this kindergartner, we want our students to spread kindness, empathy, love, and respect for all humankind. We are so fortunate to live in a country where diversity is one of our guiding hallmarks. Teaching our children to care for and to serve others is just as important as modeling that for our children, and we take that to heart at Beauvoir. We know that many families will be doing this outside of Beauvoir this weekend, too! Click here for a list of resources for the MLK Day of Service.
This morning at our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Chapel, our youngest students learned that Dr. King led a news conference in Taylor Hall before preaching his last sermon at the Washington National Cathedral. His message to people was clear: love always wins. In the words of our children who sang this morning, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
This light is all around us at Beauvoir… in the books we read, the art we make, the problems we solve in Math Morning, the journals we keep, and the community service projects we undertake. I hope you will pay special attention to my Morning Messages next week, which will highlight examples of our celebration of Dr. King’s legacy and his embodiment of the Life Rules. I am so proud of the many opportunities our teachers provide Beauvoir students to practice these values and virtues, as I know that this type of practice leads to the formation of habits, and these are the habits we want our future to have.
Yesterday, the same student returned to my office with another surprise: a portrait of love in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dreams. I hope that each of our students has a weekend filled with an abundance of service to others: family, friends, and the world around us.