“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
During Chapel, held at the start of Kindness Week, Ms Elisabeth Wise encouraged us to remember the message of this verse and reminded us that kindness and compassion are essential to living a life aligned with God’s teachings. We can model our kindness after Him and show compassion and care to others, even when this may not be reciprocated. We can also take comfort in knowing that we can always turn to God for His never-ending love.
There are many examples of these virtues happening every day in our School community. One recent example has been from our Junior School Prefects who have been working with Mrs Jenny Wong to develop engaging activities that will encourage our students to think about how they can implement the virtues of kindness and compassion. Our younger students have made checklists that provide practical ideas of how they can show kindness to their peers, family and teachers. Older students have focused on reflecting on the perspectives of others in complex situations, such as when a peer has been discreetly excluded or they have a conflicting opinion with others and then discussed how they might respond with kindness and respect.
Kindness within the Meriden community has also recently been exemplified by the Junior School Auxiliary, led by Mrs Valeria Ko. The parent volunteers worked consistently throughout the term to prepare for the Mother’s Day stalls, culminating in a wonderful celebration of support for all our Junior School mothers. We thank them for their exemplary example of what it means to demonstrate this virtue through serving others. Examples such as these demonstrate that kindness is contagious. When parents, teachers and students are on the receiving end of goodwill and affection, they reciprocate and pay it forward to others.
Recently, a student in Year 2 asked me, “Why do we focus on kindness only for one week?”. I was impressed by her ability to discern that Kindness Week is not just about doing nice things for this period. Rather, it is about cultivating a culture where our students and staff live out kindness all the time, including at home and at Meriden. We are proud of our positive school environment, and occasions such as Kindness Week allow us to further encourage and support this environment.