Clearview Public SchoolsClearview Public Schools

Compassion and Remembrance Day

“I agree with the Dalai Lama who said that “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries”. For example, there is a story…

There is a story of a young boy that walks into a cafe and sits down at the table. The waitress comes over and sits a glass of water down; the boy then proceeds to ask, "how much is an ice cream sundae?" The waitress looks down and tells him it's a dollar.  The boy then pulls his hand out of his pocket and looks at a number of coins in it.  He again looks up with the waitress and asks, "How much is a bowl of just plain ice cream?" The waitress now notices people waiting for the table and gets a little impatient. She looks down at the boy and tells him it's $0.75.  He again examines the coins in his hand. Finally, he looks back up to the waitress, and he says, "I'll just take a plain bowl of ice cream." The waitress then comes back with the ice cream and the bill.The boy finishes his ice cream and takes his bill up to the cashier to pay. The waitress comes back over to wipe down the table; she swallows hard at what she saw neatly placed next to an empty bowl of ice cream; the boy had left a quarter for her as a tip.  You see, the way we look at the world shapes the people we become.   Simple acts of kindness teach us lessons for change.   We can all learn something from the boy in the story.  He showed incredible compassion for others but also was working on the person he wanted to become. He knew that compassion and love were necessities. 

It is appropriate at this time of year to reflect on the sacrifice of soldiers who have fought in world conflicts, giving us freedom, in a true act of selflessness and compassion. One of my favourite books is “The Compassionate Soldier: Remarkable Stories of Mercy, Heroism and Honour from the Battlefield” by Jerry Borrowman. The author tells of soldiers risking their own lives to serve others. These individuals did not fall into the trap of embracing the cruelty of war as a norm. Instead, they faced the risk of peril as a consequence for extending compassion. This book emphasized to me that a real hero acts with compassion, recognizing it’s necessity. Reading these stories humbled me and caused me to ask myself if I would have behaved as bravely and compassionately. I also believe that another lesson could be even more simple: extending small kindnesses and compassion to the people around us every day, especially when it may not be expected or required, is an act of bravery and love. It is this act that offers peace in a confused world. 

I want you to know that I see that kind of compassion in Clearview’s hallways, classrooms, offices and buses every day. I am so encouraged when speaking to school principals, teachers, bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, and central office staff.I feel of the sincere care our staff have for each other and for our students. I am overwhelmed with staff helping students, their colleagues and their families.  Also, thank you to students who extend compassion too.There is so much kindness and compassion in Clearview.

On this Remembrance Day, I wish to say thank you. Thank you to those who sacrificed their lives and their own personal peace, who through their compassion and bravery taught us how to live. Thank you also, to Clearview staff and students, who choose to continue this work and responsibility each day in our schools every day!