It’s all about me!
It really saddens me when I see advertising that promotes the idea that the most important person in the world is “me”. We often see it as companies advertise their products, selling us a message that we will only be happy if we invest in this or that.
Sadly, we are influenced by that sort of messaging. It sometimes plays out in our responses to difficult situations.
I am a believer in the new commandment given by Jesus to his Disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
The message of Jesus is contrary to what our media outlets would have us believe. It isn’t all about me and what I can get out of life, but rather, what I can give.
The third phrase in our School’s purpose statement says “… with a heart for servant leadership”. That phrase refers to the attitude that we would love to instil in our young people, an attitude of empathy, compassion, and generosity.
The truth is, life is so much more fulfilling when we are seeking to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I know this as truth, as do countless others who quietly go about what they do so well because at the very core they know that they are making a difference.
I am greatly encouraged when I hear stories of the young people in our community giving of their time to make a difference to others. The students who come to watch their peers play sport or make music. The student leaders who seek to make St Paul’s an even better place as they organise activities for others to enjoy. The students who have joined the V9 team to travel to Vanuatu in the June/July holidays to work in the remote communities there. I know that those students will return having had a life changing experience – an experience that has taught them that material wealth doesn’t bring happiness and that what we should value the most is our relationships with each other.
I am also greatly encouraged when I hear stories of individuals making a positive difference outside of School, like Samuel Davern (Year 9), who completed a Tough Mudder event last Sunday to promote awareness around mental wellbeing and raise funds for Beyond Blue. He didn’t have to do that, but his commitment to being a “servant leader” means that he is genuinely loving others by his actions.
We can easily get caught up with the myth that this life is all we have and therefore we need to take what we can, but the truth is, genuine fulfilment, purpose and happiness is found when we seek to put others’ needs before our own.
Dr Paul Browning