I am not surprised that the field of positive psychology and its child, positive education, is affirming the importance of thankfulness. My conviction is not just that the Christian faith is (objectively) true, but that it (subjectively) works in the human experience; the Scriptures continually call us to be characterised by thankfulness. The fundamental human response to God ought to be to acknowledge him and be thankful to him; tragically, we are prone to ignore him and be thankless. As Dostoyevsky put it, "I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped." Bart Simpson shows us the biped in action!
However, thankfulness or gratitude are inherently healthy and helpful attitudes for us to cultivate. They lead us away from focussing on ourselves, they help us to focus on good things, and they help us to engage well with those on whom we are interdependent. Building a culture of thankfulness in our school and cultivating gratitude as a habitual mindset in our young people is one way to equip them for life. Even something as inconsequential as a birthday visit with the Principal is an opportunity for learning!
Speaking of thankfulness, I know that most of the students and teachers are thankful to have made it to the final week of term, with a promise of rest coming up in the Easter break. As always, it has been a busy time. Around 130 students have started school at Inaburra this year. Kindergarten have nearly finished their first term at school - most will have another 50 terms to go! Year 12 are slogging through their half-yearly exams as I write; their journey of school education is drawing to a close. The term has been full of learning, sport, performance, excursions, assessments and the many other elements that combine to constitute a term in the life of the school. My hope and prayer is that your children, and you, are able to be thankful for Term 1 2015, as well as for the approaching rest.
Finally, while Easter promises a break, chocolate, time with family and friends and many other good things, remember that it promises hope. The impetus that supercharged the small group of dispirited Jews following the death of their teacher Jesus was their conviction that God had raised him from the dead. In Jesus, God demonstrated that he would bring light from darkness and life from the grave. Whatever you do this Easter, don't miss the great hope that death does not have the final word.