May 19, 2021

Rector’s eNews – 19 May 2021

/ Rector's eNews

Easily the best news that has reached us this week is that Siyabongakonke Buthelezi is about to be discharged from hospital after many days during which he has been gravely ill and there have been significant concern over the possibility of his recovery. Michaelhouse, his family and others, I am sure, have prayed for him and his doctors have worked with enormous expertise to bring him to this point. His bed in East is awaiting his return when he is ready to come back to school and his recovery to this point is very good news for us all.

A fortnight ago I began to comment on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens and briefly commended the first habit – being proactive. The second habit, as you may recall, is to begin with the end in mind: it is important for teenagers, in particular, to understand that so often they are faced with a choice of positive or negative influences in their lives and that taking the wrong path because they have not worked out their overall “game plan” can have serious consequences for them. As the author and commentator, Patsy Crisp, has suggested if you don’t decide on your future someone else will – your friends or the media or other forces. Having the end in mind does not entail deciding on every little detail about your future, such as your career, but it does mean thinking beyond today to help you to decide on the overall direction you want your life to take. The idea is that you will still be able to “live in the moment” without “going with the flow”. One should never assume that the herd will know where they are going.

Having the end in mind with regard to the type of person one wishes to be, influences one’s relationships with others, attitudes to academic study and other events at school and, indeed, leads one to attracting positive influences around one. Teenagers will not succeed all the time and they will certainly make mistakes, but having an overall “game plan” for the direction that they want to take and the people they want to be can help them when the inevitable challenges come along.

I comment on these matters, as I have indicated previously, with a view to parent-son discussions around the camp fire or on return trips to school!

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