It has been our practice for the past several years to introduce a character education theme or motto at the beginning of each school year. The mottos are intended to be aspirational, to give all of us—students, teachers and coaches on both HW campuses—common language, a common experience, and a point of departure for conversations about character. This year, I chose to focus on “courage.”
I suggest that if there is a single quality one needs to lead a good life—not necessarily an easy life, but a good life—it is courage. Courage to say yes, as in “yes, I can” or “yes, I’ll try”—or courage to say no, as in “no, this is not right—not now, not ever.”
The great thing about courage is that, unlike innate talent or good looks or athletic ability, there is no limit on how much you can have. Courage can be developed. It is a renewable resource. If you didn’t have courage the last time you needed it, you can still get some before you will need it again.
Courage is linked to resiliency, another quality you will want to cultivate. Resilient people bounce back and they bounce forward, and the bouncing forward part, in particular, takes courage.
A few weeks ago, I found a remarkable reference to the word “courage.” Attributed to the ancient Chinese philosopher and poet, Lao Tzu, it appears early in one of the most important texts in Chinese culture—the Tao Te Ching. This year’s character theme is “From Caring Comes Courage.”
— Jeanne Huybrechts
Head of School