Thank you

In considering what I might discuss this week it has been immensely difficult to avoid the momentous national ‘judgements’ and related political and constitutional discussions that have subsequently taken place. It would have been relatively easy to make some play over the Supreme Court judgement or the conduct of MPs in parliament; I have heard and read so many reports where MPs have been described as behaving like children in the school playground – I’m not going there!

And in light of our phone call today…

And so trawling the news agenda has become something of a challenge.

Equally, I felt this week it was useful to not talk directly about the trust or college and maybe I should turn my gaze on something that was a little lighter. In doing this my eyes were drawn to the story of the Australian man who bred the first Labradoodle. He claims it’s his life‘s regret.

That got me thinking about consequences. In everything that we do there are consequences. This man, over 30 years ago, took the decision to breed a new dog. He did this with the best intentions and in a thoughtful and considerate manner. However his regret, if you look deeper into the story, is not the Labradoodle itself but the irresponsible breeding, by others, of those dogs over the years. As a consequence of some irresponsible breeder’s actions some of the Labradoodles bred have not been as strong, stable and healthy as he might have hoped when he bred his first dog in the late 1980s.

I thought he was beating himself up too much. His behaviours had some positive consequences but he was making the point that, despite his actions and his morality other people do not always operate in the same way with the same degree of integrity.

All we can do is consider carefully the consequences of our actions; we cannot manage or manipulate the actions and consequences of others.

Working in school we understand how consequences can have an impact. We see that with children and young people each and every day. Sometimes, though, we don’t think as carefully about the consequences of our actions or our words.

And so in this week, of all weeks, I wonder whether we can find some time to be particularly nice to each other? We might say more regularly, as our pupil leadership team have so articulately asked through their assemblies, can we say more ‘thank you’ than we have in the past.

The old phrase ‘it’s good to talk’ is so true. It is critical that talking is positive, meaningful and we give a little bit of ourselves in having our conversations.

I’m going to try really hard this weekend to find positive things to say to people, I’m going to try really hard to recognise the achievement of others and celebrate their successes. I’m going to try really hard to say thank you. Maybe the unintended consequence of my actions will be a warmer and more generous public spirit?

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.’ Alice Walker

‘Thank you, horseradish, for being neither a radish nor a horse. What you are is a liar food.’ Jimmy Fallon

For the commitment to the college and for the positivity you display  – I thank you.