Weekly Letter (Sep 8, 2014)

Dear Parents and Students,

 Recently I was an invited guest at an event I attend every year. I arrived early out of habit and as I entered the main room, I noticed that there was only one volunteer running around, trying to get everything ready. In her haste, she accidentally knocked over and broke a lamp. I told her that if she could get me a broom and dustpan, I would clean it up so she could continue to prepare for the ceremony. She was very grateful and asked me to wait while she got them.

 No sooner had she run off to get the broom, then a gentleman gruffly told me to “get away from the mess.” Later, as I was sweeping, that same gentleman came over and pointed out that I had missed a few pieces of glass. My “mean teacher mode” kicked in and I asked him “not to grade my essay before I had a chance to finish writing it.”

 Everything got cleaned up and the evening was quite enjoyable. The gentleman sought me out and thanked me for helping. But that one brief encounter has bothered me for nearly a week.

 When I sat down to write this letter, I had a very different conclusion in my mind. But as I wrote, I couldn’t help but think of the times I have been so stressed out about something that I forget to treat people with respect and affection. I also suspect that I don’t say “thank you” enough. At another time or another place, I could have been that gentleman.

 So, even though it is way early in the school year, I want to thank all of you students, parents, and teachers for volunteering to go above and beyond to help serve this school. Our lives are full of events, but events do not define us. It is our relationships that define us. Showing respect, affection, appreciation, and patience help us all to grow as God’s beloved children.



Terrence Hanley

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