I don’t know about you but I’m a complete sucker for a good Aphorism. Talking about the effectiveness of persistence, the Roman poet and philosopher, Titus Lucretius Carus said, “constant dripping hollows out a stone”. Whenever I’ve been working hard at a repetitive and seemingly endless task (I hesitate to say the dreaded ‘report’ word) I am minded to remember this. At times when I have become a bit full of my own self-importance or lacking a little in humility, I glance at the small note pinned upon my office wall reminding me that “at the end of the game the king and pawn return to the same box”.
And perhaps these aphorisms are a bit trite when applied to a fridge magnet, tea towel or coffee mug, however, I am equally sure that they have a value in our lives. In fact, one of the small changes that we have made this term has been to put a thought for the week in a picture frame in the entrance hall of the school. Even if this provokes just one passer by each week to think or do something a little differently, it will have been worth it…do have a look next week, it’s a good one!
I often wonder about how we measure success. In a week when we have heard some terrific news of our recent scholarship applicants (more details will be in the latest news section of the website next week), I have been hugely impressed with the stoicism with which the talented young people who have not been given an award, but who have worked equally hard, have born their disappointment. To them I doff my cap, well done for being in the race, well done for having worked so hard and well done for having the humility and dignity to congratulate those who were given an award.
I will leave you with the words of the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and his thoughts on success:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded”.
John F Gilmour