From the Principal’s Desk – Issue 26 – 16 August, 2018
Hout Bay International School is often referred to as a “privileged school”. While most of the time the word “privileged” can be replaced with the following synonyms; wealthy, rich affluent, etc. I am of the opinion that while this may indeed be the case, the word privilege should extend far beyond actual wealth. One of the definitions found in the Cambridge dictionary for the word privilege is “an opportunity to do something special or enjoyable”. And it is this concept of “privilege” that I wish to explore today.
I came across the following on face book recently:
‘As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we slowly realise; that wearing a R50,000 or R50 watch – they both tell the same time; whether we carry a R30,000 or R300 wallet/handbag – the amount of money inside is the same; whether we drive a R500,000 car or a R50,000 car, the road and distance is the same and we get to the same destination. Whether we drink a bottle of R300 or R30 wine – the hangover is the same; whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq meters – loneliness is the same. You will realise, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world. Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – you all go down with it…’
It made me realise that being privileged should not only be about what material things I have or do not have but rather choosing to see the best in life and the good in people, and making the active choice to focus on the things around us that money cannot buy – happiness, family, time with loved ones, your health, appreciating your surroundings, etc. Maybe being privileged should be about how we see ourselves in the world and how we choose to acknowledge the very many things that are actually positive or worthwhile.
While HBIS may not be a perfect school (no school can ever claim to be), I do feel that we are indeed very privileged. We have teachers and staff who care deeply for the children in their care and often go the extra mile, we have a large, beautiful campus with many modern conveniences, we have a wonderfully rigorous curriculum which allows our children to think and be challenged differently, we have over 32 different nationalities that make up our international community allowing us to celebrate our diversity and of course we are a school that is conscious of its role and place in our local community, providing us with many wonderful service opportunities to give of ourselves. This to me, is how I see HBIS as a privileged school.
At the end of the day, while it may be nice to have money or wealth, in the end the only things that truly matter are the things you cannot buy! For me it is those things that are a privilege.