We very much enjoyed sharing this event with them, I spoke at the ceremony and I shared with these young adults some thoughts and observations on life that I feel hold true for us all in every walk of life.
“People - whilst you can achieve a good deal on your own and indeed some things have to be done in isolation, you can achieve a great deal more if you collaborate successfully with others. Seek to surround yourself with high quality people, positive and successful; surround yourself with people who are better than you so that you grow, learn and develop. Not just brighter or more skilful people, but more generous, more thoughtful and more compassionate people. There is so much to learn from so many people – in particular we are better placed than many others to understand the rich variety of people in the world having lived and studied in a truly international environment here in Shanghai.
Listen - learn to listen, it is a much underrated skill and if you want to be a good friend and to be successful you need to learn to really listen in order to understand. The added advantage is while you learn very little when you are talking, you can learn a great deal from others when you are listening to experienced and skilful people. Encourage others to talk, ask for people’s help and advice. Listen carefully, giving others your full attention makes them feel important and they will open up and readily share their knowledge, experience and wisdom.
Respect - make sure that you treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. A smile and cheerful “Good morning!” costs you nothing, a simple “please” and “thank you” make the world a nicer place and small acts of kindness and consideration like opening a door for someone just lifts the spirits. However this must be done in an egalitarian way, treat everyone from the cleaners to the CEO the same way, they are all human beings and all deserve your respect.
Time – we all have the same amount of time to use in a day, how constructively we choose to use it is entirely down to us. A balance of work rest and play is also important, knowing when to stop work and relax.
Luck – I shared the following quotes: “You make your own luck” Anon and “The harder I work the luckier I get” Gary Player. Research has shown that it in life we generally experience the same amount of good luck and the same proportion of bad luck as others. How we respond dictates whether or not we are successful going forward. We all need to be vigilant and open minded to understand the opportunities life offers and to realise that they may not be presented in the manner in which we hoped.”
Reflecting on vigilance, you will by now be aware we were dealing with a student security issue over the last couple of days. I am very grateful to everyone involved in supporting the family and the school in dealing with this concerning incident and to the local police who responded so quickly and positively to establish the facts and resolve this issue.
We can now re-focus on the coming weeks and the exciting experiences in and out of the classroom such as the on-going Science Week in Primary School and the planning for the Secondary School activity week trips.
Kevin Foyle, Principal