‘True charity occurs only when there are no notions of giving, giver, or gift.’ – Buddha
I was discussing the social enterprise concept of ‘me to we’ in my Indigenous Studies class last week and it seemed to immediately capture the class’s attention. The concept resonated with the group and it reminded me that one of the great joys of working at Carey is the social capital the school has developed over the past 97 years. Students, staff and families thrive in an environment that culturally promotes the concept of ‘me to we’ – students are encouraged through formal and informal experiences to give back to society and to strive to ‘make a difference’ as an offset to our introspective and self-centred culture.
In a society that is all about ‘me’ it is nice to see pockets of young people thinking around the concept of ‘we’. The students in Middle School are regularly encouraged to find ways to make a difference in the lives of others, whether that is through the CARE curriculum, Year 9 C-change Program, SRC, House Chapels, House fundraising and all sorts of other social outreach experiences. In an effort to combat the obsession with ‘the self’, social outreach can be a real positive way to help kids to see the world beyond their own immediate needs and wants.
As we move into the final few weeks of Term 1, maybe a great way to reflect on the term is to have some family discussion around some other measurements, not just the test and assignment results we are used to focussing on.
What about using the following questions:
1. How many random acts of kindness did you do in Term 1?
2. On average, how many times a day did you laugh or smile?
3. How many nights did you not use social media or watch TV?
4. How much time did you volunteer for a cause?
5. How many times did you say thank you to someone?
6. Did you do anything to support the myriad charities and causes promoted around the school?
7. How many kids did you help with their work in class or in a co-curricular activity?
8. How many times did you let someone else go first, have the last piece of something nice or give up something you really wanted?
An exciting observation I have seen over the years is that young people already have what it takes to make the world a better place. Making a difference in the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions with a lot of heart that will move us closer to a ‘we’ world rather than a ‘me’ world.
‘How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’ – Anne Frank
Head of Middle School