From the Head of Year 8, David New
Last Thursday, Year 8 students participated in an End of Year Liturgy based around various themes we had emphasised during the year.
“No matter how rich, talented or cool you believe you are, how you treat people ultimately tells all. Integrity is everything! “
Searching for Treasure
A child had lost something valuable and irreplaceable. He anxiously got on his knees and scoured the playground area alone.
Some children saw him searching intently and asked: ‘What have you lost?”
“Something really important” replied the worried child.
And so they all got together and searched everywhere. After a while the children had success! One of the children found a gold chain. Another child found a large amount of money. Another child found an expensive diamond ring. Suddenly, a cry went out! It was from the young child.
“I’ve found it! I’ve found it!” cried the young child with joy.
Imagining it to be more valuable than gold, money or diamonds, the children rushed to him and they were stunned at what they saw: it was a crushed, smeared, small, colourful piece of paper.
The child held it up triumphantly for everyone to see! “I made this drawing for my family today…” continued the child happily.
Matthew 12:46-50 – The True Family of Jesus
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’
A Reflection by Mr David New
As you know boys, the quote about Integrity has been our central theme this year.
I would like to tell a story about a young man whose name is Charles Van Doren.
Charles was the son of a famous writer and academic. He was young, handsome and intelligent. In 1957, television was taking off in America, with games shows being particularly popular. Charles went on a gameshow called ‘21′.
He began winning and due to television’s broad appeal became very famous throughout America. He was undefeated and had become the equivalent of a millionaire from the show. Basically he was a celebrity.
To keep the show’s profits continuing, the producers decided to give him the answers in advance. He was essentially cheating. He had compromised his integrity for fame and fortune.
In a scene from the film ’21’ his father discusses his fame with Charles knowing his son seems troubled after people had questioned the show’s ethics.
Mr Van Doren Snr turns to his son and says, “My name is your name and your name is my name.”
Charlie had forgotten the importance of his family name, that a family is a unit and requires all members to work together, to look after each other.
Whether it be a sporting team, your family, your job, the way you treat people tells all. The way you treat your teachers, your coach, your manager is important.
In comparison, the story about the little boy and the picture tells us that it was more than just a picture to him. The boy was saying he was proud of his family, he was a part of them and vice versa.
Similarly, the Gospel passage shows Jesus saying that no matter where or who you are, by honouring your brothers and sisters, team mates, colleagues and co-workers with decency and integrity, following God and acting as a Christian brings real rewards, not fame and fortune.
Please think about how you treat others. Your behaviour reflects not just on yourself but others – your parents, your family and your school. Respect your family, your school and whoever you are serving and those who are there to help you.
Charlie Van Doren gave away his integrity, took his family for granted, all for fame and fortune. In later life, he never regained any semblance of respect. The scandal stayed with him and forever tainted him.
In finishing up, I would like to wish the students and their families a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
It has been a distinct honour and pleasure in guiding your sons through this year.