“Love is higher than opinion. If people love one another the most varied opinions can be reconciled – thus one of the most important tasks for humankind today and in the future is that we should learn to live together and understand one another. If this human fellowship is not achieved, all talk of development is empty.” Rudolf Steiner
In our K-12 Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner school, each day, the core work of our Leadership, Support and Teaching Staff is to inspire, create and support a healthy teaching and learning environment, with our students, at the centre.
Picture by Tanja Nelson
In navigating the continuing uncertainty, complexity and destabilising effects of ‘unprecedented’ times, it is affirming and helpful to be reminded of and reflect on our school’s Mission and Vision…
Our Mission –To provide a nurturing, creative and academic education inspired by the indications of Rudolf Steiner for a healthy social life and the developing human being.
Our Vision – To enable each individual to realise their potential to be self aware, resourceful and resilient, with the empathy, skills, and initiative to make a positive contribution to the world.
And so, every day in our K-12 classrooms and beautiful school grounds, teachers and students are striving to live, learn, create, work and play together; (often with joy and importantly, also sometimes with sorrow); to grow skills allowing us to interact, understand, cooperate and respect each other; to be responsible and considerate; to appreciate difference, uniqueness, harmony, disharmony, agreement, disagreement, to be brave and courageous, to try new things; to care, to be sensitive and perceptive and passionate; to be appreciative, to feel grateful, to become self aware, to reflect, to adjust, to be adaptive, to grow resilience…
To be kind and giving to others; and to recognise that all of our friends have different families and stories and needs and learning styles and gifts and destinies.
As a class, we work with all of this and much more, day in and day out; in and out of seasons; year by year; through thick and through thin… And in this way, the class journey is experienced together as an authentic continuum, a community of learning. Our students learn how to practice and refine these qualities over time as a collective – for each individual, and for the greater good of the group – growing comfort in navigating their world, moving from chaos to order, fine tuning, harmonising, and growing a deep sense of love and respect for each other along the way.
This is the gift and the gold of our Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner Education…
Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility — these three forces are the very nerve of education.
Perhaps Hugh Mackay’s call for a ‘Kindness Revolution’ is a worthy contemplation at this time?
He describes ‘Kindness’ as the purest form of love and sees kindness as a personal and collective value and activity that can sustain us through times of uncertainty, both as individuals and communities.
“We are a social species, therefore a cooperative species.
It’s in our deepest nature to be cooperative…
How are any of us changed by disruption and by a heightened sense of life’s uncertainties? Either we become frustrated and let our frustration boil over into anger and recklessness, or else we think more clearly about what matters to us. We consider which values are worth clinging to. We become more caring, since that’s the inevitable consequence, for most of us, of realising just how interdependent and interconnected we really are.
By modifying our behaviour so radically in response to the prolonged threat of COVID-19, we were showing our care and concern for each other; our willingness to make personal sacrifices for the common good. And those are signs of the purest form of human love: the love that has nothing to do with emotion or affection; the love that says we will treat each other kindly and respectfully regardless of how we happen to feel about each other, because we know that’s the only way a human community can thrive.”
The Kindness Revolution – Hugh McKay
With Kind thoughts and good wishes
Teera and Paddy