To my fellow students, teachers, monks, faculty members, and campus community,
As we begin another exciting and joy-filled school year, let us reflect on the importance of respect, kindness and love. Each of us as human beings, have been created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore, are beautiful and individually unique. Most importantly, we each possess dignity that can never be taken away from our beings. My friends, may you take some time to dwell on these truths and seek out their deeper meanings.
Imagine what it would be like if we each looked into the eyes of our peers and saw the good in one another. As individuals, we all have our own opinions, our different faith practices, and do not always see eye-to-eye on current events, politics, governmental affairs and many other issues. Often, it is easy to get caught up in such differences and focus on the negativity of others instead of promoting the goodness possessed by each of us. Remember that, aside from our differences, we all are human beings and deserve to be treated with the utmost kindness and respect. Imagine a community that lives by these beliefs and works to uplift, encourage, and inspire one another.
This year, our school is focusing on the importance of community. Sophomore Melissa Brito describes community as “A gathering of people who are willing to stand up for each other and compromise- mainly, to be united and at peace with one another.” But, if we analyze this topic more deeply, community requires all members to practice the virtues of faith, hope and charity (love). Simply put, international student Sakurako Kohnoike states, “Love is EVERYTHING!” And, as St. Thomas Aquinas defines it, “Love is willing the good of the other.”
You never know what your peer across the classroom is going through or the difficulties your teacher is currently battling. Picture the impact that a simple smile could have in the lives of these individuals. It is the simplest acts of kindness, a warm greeting, a quick “hello,” a positive word, that are the most beautiful. There is a beautiful quote by St. Therese of Lisieux that serves as a great reminder for all us: “Do SMALL things with GREAT love.” May we meditate on the meaning of this quote and apply this truth to our everyday lives.
We have a wonderful community of individuals at St. Martin’s, and together, let us strive to promote the values of respect, kindness and love. Let us transform this campus into a space where good deeds are done, charity is promoted, and love consumes the air. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are one family and will always be united together. So, the next time you feel tempted to point out the “bad” in another individual or treat others with disrespect, stop and challenge yourself to act in a different manner. Instead, work on finding and promoting the good in each person. Kindness is powerful, and know that every good deed will positively influence and shape our school, larger community, and entire world.
As students, teachers, monks, faculty and community members, we each have different missions and goals for our time here at St. Martin’s. Whether we are a student who is studying for four years, a teacher who is teaching for ten years, or a monk who is living on campus for fifty years, our mission remains the same: TO LOVE! No matter who you are, what position you hold, or how long you intend on staying at St. Martin’s, each of us are called to love others through our words and actions. Together, let us continue to build our community out of love for one another, then watch as we strengthen this wonderful bond of friendship between us all.
Written by Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer