An Anchor of Hope

The last few days will go down in history for many reasons: the ECHR’s damning verdict on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party; the passing of iconic figures such as Nobby Stiles and Sean Connery; the final few days of the most divisive election in America’s history; the leak and subsequent rushed announcement concerning the second national lockdown of 2020; and the culmination of the longest ever Six Nations competition, to name just a few.

Some speculated on social media whether the real reason Boris Johnson took so long to make his fateful announcement on Saturday evening was so that he could watch the second half of the England vs Italy match, but while the nations of the United Kingdom and beyond came together, as one, to compete in the northern hemisphere’s oldest and most prestigious rugby union competition, the governments of the same nations now find themselves further apart in terms of their strategy to deal with COVID-19 than ever before: a prime example of sport and politics going in diametrically opposed directions.

As we stare down the barrel of another period of immense uncertainty, I was uplifted to receive the following quotation from a Wellington parent via Twitter which, I believe, originally comes from Hashi Mohamed’s book ‘People Like Us’. Not only does it seem to sum up the current situation perfectly, but it also offers simple but sage advice regarding how to get through the next five weeks and beyond:

“Of course, you’re entitled to be angry, or feel frustrated or helpless; this is entirely normal. But dwelling on what you can’t control is a waste of time and a waste of hope. Instead, focus on what you can change: how hard you work, looking after yourself and seeking help where you can, and the kinds of people you surround yourself with.”

In this second half of term, I want Wellington College to be an anchor of hope for every member of our community, a constant and certain presence which can offer our pupils and staff a place where they can work hard, the support they need to look after themselves and each other, a community where help can be sought and given, and an environment within which we can all surround ourselves with kind and generous people who make us better human beings.

I support whole-heartedly the ongoing opening of educational establishments. Our young people deserve and need to be in school during this second national lockdown for reasons of educational and social development, as well as for the significant health benefits, both physical and mental. In this Master’s Voice, I therefore pledge to the entire Wellington Community that we will do everything we can not only to keep the school open over the next seven weeks, not only to provide a first-class education for your children, but to provide the certainty and hope which we all need to get through the challenges ahead.

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