Intersections: Opportunity

November 24, 2016 by Bill Ivey

As the United States celebrates Thanksgiving in what is an admittedly tense post-election period, countless families will be gathering together in love and following their own traditional rituals. one of the most popular being “Let’s go around the table and say for what we give thanks.” And perhaps, precisely because of how difficult this year has been, it seems especially important to seek and find that gratitude, and to think deeply about what matters most to us as we do so.

That is exactly the spirit which Community Service Club inspired by assembling the Appreciation Fabric installation on the terrace for their annual “Attitude of Gratitude” display. Each member of the community was asked to take a square of fabric, of all colours of the rainbow, and write something for which they were grateful or for which they were hoping. These were hung on clothelines on the terrace. I tried to choose representative squares in pulling together a Facebook post, and several important themes emerge. The importance of family, friends, pets, and communities, including of course our own school. Signs of progress we’ve made toward being a more inclusive and just world, and hope for more progress. Hope for healing, and faith in the power of love. And the single word, “Opportunity.”

One of the squares I found the most moving, and one “liked” by the mom of a once-and-always advisee, read, “I’m grateful to work and live in a community that values multiple perspectives, that encourages difficult conversations, that is warm and caring and celebrates women’s voices. For our imperfections, we still seek to improve and help each other be the best versions of ourselves.” I share that gratitude, for if we are to celebrate community and progress made, if we are to extend hope for healing and more progress, if we are to draw on the power of love and make the most of opportunity, that’s exactly the path to take.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Written by Bill Ivey

A dedicated member of the faculty, Bill Ivey is the Middle School Dean at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. He teaches Humanities 7 and the Middle and Upper School Rock Bands. Bill is the advisor for MOCA, the middle school student government, and he coordinates and participates in the middle school service program. Among his many hats, Bill also coordinates social media for Stoneleigh-Burnham School.

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Filed Under: Thanksgiving, Hope