Martin Luther King’s life and work were affirmed through programming at school this week that supports perhaps our most important mission tenet: Fostering care for others and committed citizenship.
One of the major lessons one can take away from Martin Luther King Jr’s life and work is that he was devoted to service. King served his community and his nation in many ways, always striving to bring out the best in us as individuals and as a nation as he asked us to honor the ideals upon which our nation was founded. He said, among so many things, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
In Chapel today, Bert Nascimento, Co-Director of Equity & Inclusion, shared a message of individual courage and service building on the MLK quote, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” After sharing a story from his own life about the impact of his action to challenge his peers’ use of derogatory language, he asked our students to find the courage to individually live into their authentic selves, to confront what they believe is wrong, and to lean into the difficult dialogues that might ensue to share their truth. Read his full talk, here.
As we try to live up to our school value of care for others and committed citizenship, a value Martin Luther King Jr would have surely approved of, we continue to celebrate our students’ growth through their increasing engagement in service. From our morning of service last week, to our ongoing work assisting recent immigrants and helping with programming for Special Olympics MA (read a blog post by a student leader of SOMA
), our goal is for our students to learn from others while seeing the impact of their contributions and feeling the joy of using their talents and voice to help others. As students move beyond their individual concerns to consider how they can help others, they learn what challenges others face and perhaps might gain respect for how others meet their challenges with strength and courage. We hope in the process they take a way a sense of that grit while feeling gratitude for their many talents and their ability to share them in support of others.
This was an important part of the message of our Saturday School Day speaker, Dennis Febo
, as well. He posited that when we break down all the boxes we use to define ourselves, the most important identifier is our common humanity. We all have feelings, challenges, joys, and concerns no matter our backgrounds and we should use that commonality to learn from each other. Febo encouraged us to develop an empowering purpose in life and to lead boldly with that as our identity, allowing that purpose to guide us into right and respectful action on behalf of others as we step out with gratitude and love in genuine self-expression. He argued as members of a community, we are part of a collective consciousness that can create positive change as a school community, region, state, government, world.
As we make efforts, as individuals and as a school, to be positive role models in support of our core values, we know growth is a bumpy process for all of us. As we move ahead through all the ups and downs of a life of learning at Tabor, it is, without equivocation, our school’s aim to be a safe place for all our students and faculty to live authentically into their best selves with humanity.