|Dare to Care - 02 February 2017|
Our theme for 2017, "Courage to Be Kind", is a challenge. Will we dare to care? We are confronted with a world that screams "Dog eat dog", "Look at moi" and "You deserve the best" and it can be hard to understand that the world does not in fact revolve around us. The challenge of our theme is to move beyond our comfort zones to recognise our neighbours in need and respond with compassion and generosity.
In his book, Life, the Truth and Being Free, Steve Mariboli asks the question, “How would your life be different if…you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” This is the courage to be kind.
So what do we mean by kindness? Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th Century philosopher, scientist and theologian, said: "Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do."
It sounds easy but it actually means we have to have courage. We need to be prepared to take a risk, not to care what others think about us, not to worry about being judged by our friends or by the cool girls, to step away from the crowd and to make a truly radical choice to be kind.
Maya Angelou, a famous African American poet, said: "One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practise any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
As we begin this year we ask God to help us develop the courage to be kind. Help us to recognise people we encounter who need kindness shown to them. Help us to step out of our comfort zone to show real kindness - to be really welcoming, to convince others to join us in being kind. Help us to find joy in being kind. Help us also to respond with kindness to calls of justice and peace.
So let's pray that God will inspire us with the courage to be kind using our 2017 prayer:
Loving God, inspire in us the courage to be kind.
Remind us of our responsibility to be the change we want to see in the world.
Stir up gratitude in our hearts and keep us from apathy and selfishness.
Help us to recognise the needs of our neighbours
And, like the Good Samaritan, to respond with compassion and generosity.
May we be passionate about bringing Your peace, justice and mercy to all.
We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Neil Gaiman (an English author) wrote, “I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
Will you dare to care?
Deputy Principal - Mission