These are some of the thoughts that have been in my head at various times this week and if there are any dots to join I’ll leave you to weave a way through.
I mentioned last week that I spent time with the uncluttered minds of our 2 year old ‘inmates’. I have also spoken in Assembly about how we are all born with absolutely no preconceptions or prejudices about people and the world around us. Young children will play and engage with each other quite naturally regardless of what may be considered differences by some older observers.
Father Mark, our Chaplain, and I caught up this week and we were discussing the balance between preparing children for a world of diversity, liberation and opportunity, between giving them a sense that anything is possible and we should be open-minded about alternatives to what is traditionally perceived as the ‘norm’, yet wanting them to establish a solid grasp of what the ‘norm’ is in order to inform their decisions. We feel strongly about what may be characterised traditional values as a foundation for good citizenship and social responsibility but wish to develop tolerance and broadmindedness.
I have weekly sessions with groups of our oldest children as part of their Scholarship interview preparation. Recently we were asking ourselves whether we would like to be the most powerful person in the world. In general there was nervousness about the enormous responsibility that would go hand in hand with such status but several were of the opinion that they would be able to do ‘endless good things for all the problems in the world’ and ‘sort out homelessness and famines’. We discussed why not every world leader seems so magnanimous - what are the hindrances to such largesse? We talked about the adage that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. We ended up considering the possible motivations and responsibilities of Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump today – what have been the influences on their journey from 2 year old to 13 year old and subsequently on to be one of the world’s leaders? We discussed that you don’t need to be in a formal position of power to be influential. We aspire for all children at King’s Hall, whether 2 year old or 13, to go on to be positive influences on the world we share.