Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Humility on The Hill?

Each year we choose a character trait as a theme. Popping up in assemblies and at other special events, the theme runs throughout the year. This year's theme: Humility.

As a few speakers have already noted, humility is not an easy character trait to address without proving that you don't possess it (e.g. "Listen to me. I'm more humble than all of you!"). Yes, writing about it also provides the same challenge, but here we go...
We've had some opportunity to see what humility is all about this year. Finishing as runner-up in an epic Blue Cross Bowl wasn't on anyone's wish list at the beginning of the school year, but it happened. To accept that outcome gracefully, to the degree any of us were able to, required humility. If certain Big Red fans (and I'm looking in the mirror now), didn't handle it so gracefully, here's another opportunity to practice humility. However, there are even more difficult realities to grasp than a second place finish.

Everyone knows that we are invincible and immortal. Illness and injury are illusions, right? Well, it turns out that may not be true after all. As the school has witnessed recently, we are actually vulnerable. A few students' battles with sickness and disease have been in the forefront of everyone's mind on The Hill. We also learned that our headmaster has been diagnosed with cancer. How can this be?

What to do with this realization that illness affects people we see every day? It might even affect us! On the one hand, it's a scary thought. On the other hand, it provides an opportunity. If we have our health, suddenly we value it more and we want to make the most of what we have. We refuse to squander it.

Armed with this new, humbling perspective on the fragility of life, we go to work. Humility can move us to action, make us find ways to serve. In a first semester consisting of 71.5 days, the boys found ways to serve on 69 of them, including weekends, and many of those days featured more than one event.

Maybe we are beginning to realize how much we have to give.

And with that blatant humblebrag, this waffle is done.