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YEARS 7-9 WELLBEING CHARACTER STRENGTH FOCUS

Week 6: Love

Love. As I write this article, I find the beginning difficult. This strength is all-encompassing. Comedian George Burns once described love as “Something like a backache: It doesn’t show up on X-rays, but you know it’s there.” Nicholas Sparks is attributed to saying, “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul, makes us reach for more and brings peace to our minds”, and further back in time, Shakespeare told us that “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind”. In his letter to the Corinthians, St Paul wrote “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”

Love’s power is very clear; it is one of the most empowering and enduring character strengths of all. They say it can ‘move mountains’ and energise us towards objectives like no other catalyst. If we reflect on the lengths we go to for our children and those we care for, we know this is true.

As we can all attest, the world is endlessly interconnected, and none of us can be at our best in isolation. love helps to create positive feelings and overcome loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Without love, the strong relationships with our families, friends, or communities are not possible. love is linked to good health and a long life; it provides us with a sense of meaning and purpose. Of course, it goes without saying that love also needs to be directed at the world we live in, at other peoples and at the environment.

St Michael’s is a place where we aspire to ensure that each person is known, valued and cared for, whether student, staff or family member. As a community, we support each other in the hardest of times and celebrate together in times of joy. Several examples of this are our recent Wear it Purple Day; the great work of Eco Squad; our attention to COVID safe directives over past years; Year 12 College Leaders working with their younger brothers and sisters in the Garden; and College Co-Captain Avah Topp going bowling with younger students; Year 8 leaders preparing to work with and mentor younger students in the Junior School; and Year 7 Camp this Week; all of these experiences echo a strong call to love for ourselves and developing responsibility in taking care of each other and of our world.

As a part of self-love, it’s critical for us to take care of ourselves with correct sleep, diet, and exercise. If you haven’t already read Stolen Focus, by Johann Hari, it does offer lots of food for thought about how we can show ourselves and others more love by minimising our dependence on devices and thinking about the messages we are living. While I’m only about halfway through, I can say I love it!

Seeing any situation through the lens of love does help us to view things in a more positive way, to feel better and be healthier, and fundamentally helps each of us to contribute to the community where we are all known, valued, and cared for.

I leave you with the thoughts of some Year 9 students, as they remember Father’s Day ahead and what they love about the significant male role models in their lives:

  • I love the stories my Nonno tells me.
  • I love the unconditional support I get from my Dad.
  • I love that my Grandpa is always there for me and my family.
  • I love that my Dad is always there for me whenever I need him.
  • My dad is brave, loving, and sometimes stern, which I think is necessary in a Dad. He understands some of my struggles as he can relate from when he was my age.
  • What I love about my Dad is that he takes me to my trainings and games and buys things for me, and his a role model for people around me.
  • The one thing I love about my Dad is how he always pushes me to my limits with my football and also how he takes me everywhere.
  • I love my Dad because he supports our family with love and care and would do anything for our family.
  • DAD AND MUM: I love my parents more than everything. What I like the most about them is that when I make a mistake, they will talk to me about how to fix it the next time. I also like that they always have time for the family even though their lives are so busy.
  • I love my Dad because he supports me in what I want to do and makes me feel appreciated in everything I do.
  • What I love about my Dad is how he has been a good role model for my football and someone to look up to, and now it’s my turn to be a role model for my younger brother. He’s taught me how to be polite and not to be disrespectful.
  • My Dad is funny, sometimes he will do things that make me laugh but when we need him to be serious and help us out, he will. He teaches my siblings and I life lessons and to always be respectful.
  • I love my Dad because he is so loving and nice to be around. I love what he does as a job. He also asks me for opinions on the things he is doing for work and he always includes me. He has worked so hard for me and my mum to have a great life. He always takes me wherever I want to go and he always plays basketball with me. I thank my Dad so much for everything he does.
  • I love that my Grandpa is so easygoing and lets us be free when we are at his house.

We look forward to Wellbeing Week in love next week, and we will do our best to follow St John Baptist de La Salle’s wisdom and “Often ask God for the grace to touch hearts”.

Enjoy the weekend ahead! May the sun shine on Father’s Day celebrations wherever we are!!

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 7-9 Wellbeing Initiatives Leader