Endless Possibilities – Making a World of Difference
We live in a country of “endless possibility”. This catch phrase has become a bit of a cliché in South Africa and it is often coupled with the unspoken assumption that we are not living up to those possibilities.
This couldn’t be further from the truth at St Stithians. The start of the new year is filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and of course, possibility. The long December break affords each a space for some family time and some reflection, where we endeavour to start a new year with fresh eyes and thirsty hearts. For our Boys’ College Community, this begins with the Grade 8 Camp, the Staff Chapel Service and the beginning of aspiring plans which we hope will hold steadfast for the rest of the year. For the first camp of the year and as the wide-eyed new boys arrive, the seniors carry their bags to the busses – a tradition born on the back of our serving leader philosophy. They begin their journey through the school with a first step that makes putting others first a priority.
As the camp ends and school begins, the new leaders begin to place the soles of their feet in the footprints left behind by the previous year. They begin where last year’s role models left off, and soon begin to forge their own legacy and identity through the school. Their space is filled with possibility as every Matric receives a leadership tie: a symbol in our school’s faith that they can be role models and indeed leaders. In the same spiritual fulcrum of our school, the prefects take their oath; plans and possibilities firmly rooted in their sights and the hope that their responsibility can match their vision. Each boy wears the same badge emblazoned over their hearts, the cross symbolizing a Christian Honour Code that binds the brotherhood of Saints boys together.
They hold themselves accountable to the same Prefect’s Charge, but also find space to celebrate their difference and individuality. It is this diversity that binds the strength of their brotherhood. As each new prefect undertakes their pledge, they do so in their mother tongue: a stronger oath because in Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and English the boys have made it their own.
And finally after these ceremonies were concluded, we were given an opportunity to reflect on our land of possibilities.
This reflection was thanks to a guest speaker who was also the Head Boy of the Boys’ College in 2014. I began to think of how the threads of our school make real possibilities. Tafadzwa Ndlovu spoke about the South African he envisages: one of dreams and possibilities. He spoke of an aspirational South Africa and about the importance of having a solid blueprint in order to have a meaningful life. He spoke about the belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own “somebodiness”.
His dream about a better South Africa being forged by the students of this school was uplifting, because it happens here every day.
We are indeed a school of making possibilities realities.