This week we have a special guest introduction from Allison Prandolini, Head of Girls’ Junior School….
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the protagonist Frodo Baggins, referring to the trials and tribulations that explored through the book, complains to the great wizard Gandalf, “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So, do I,” Gandalf replies, “and do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
I have thought of this quote often over the past few months as we have been plunged into a world that none of us ever really expected, nor did we totally understand the implications of what we were to experience. But as someone who likes to see life in an optimistic view, I have frequently stopped to see the benefits of this additional time.
Psychologist, researcher and professor Lea Waters AM, refers to this as benefit gaining. COVID-19 has challenged us at times to be able to stop and see the benefits, but when we do, it can definitely make a difference to our experience. As a mum, I have perhaps selfishly enjoyed having my two teenage sons at home at lot more than usual, family table tennis competitions, jigsaws, walks and shared cooking experiences just some of the highlights that we don’t usually have the time to undertake between school, sport and other co-curricular pursuits.
In the Girls’ Junior School, we have recently undertaken ‘Gratitude Week”, a week where the girls have stopped and thought about who they are grateful for at the moment, and what a difference their work has made to our lives. Our girls have been inspiring, from Preps creating handmade paper flowers which they have delivered to doctors and nurses, to other girls undertaking footpath drawings and letters to our politicians. These girls have used their extra time, to exemplify our Tintern motto, Factis Non Verbis, along with the Tintern Compass to guide them to be grateful and make a difference to the lives of others. What an impressive use of their time!
As our world starts to return to some semblance of what it was before, I wonder what will change? Will we return to the busyness of family life, or have we seen the benefits of slowing down and reconnecting with others? Perhaps it is time to think about this with your family. What benefits have you seen and what will you continue in the future? What opportunities are there where you too can make a difference to the lives of others?
Whilst we may not have desired to live through such a challenging time, just like Gandalf we can look for the opportunities that have been placed before us and celebrate the benefits we have gained.