I was recently sent an email by Liza Patchen-Short, Snohomish County Mental Health Liaison, that was titled "Turning to One Another." I've included the piece below which was written by the amazing author and thought-leader Margaret Wheatley. The entire piece is truly great but it was the first sentence that struck a powerful, resonate chord with me especially following the remarks I shared with you all in the school newsletter two weeks ago. The first sentence, as you can also read for yourselves below, is "There is no greater power than a community discovering what it cares about."
For me, there also has to be a further understanding within the community itself that they even have the power and potential to realize this. The 'power' that Wheatley talks about is available to every community no matter how one defines the specific circle of influence or social circles (physical or digital) they inhabit. But most communities, especially of late, are not fully realizing this potential due to a number of factors that are not of interest to me here as your school's principal. What IS of interest to me, as part of the Cascade View community, is to personally embody, serve, and help lead what I feel is a community core value (i.e., what this community truly cares about).
In the last newsletter, I shared the dichotomy our community faces in the dialogue of whether students should return to school, in person. The dichotomy, was whether Covid-19 or mental health should take priority and precedence as THE decisive factor. If we can remove ourselves from our own personal and emotional position and opinion, and move to a place of greater perspective above that grey to look down at all the truly tough and heart-wrenching stories and details that we all are mired in to one degree or another, I would trust we would discover the core value, the one thing we all care deeply about: the overall wellness of our children. The thing we care most about as a community is that we do whatever we can to insure our children thrive.
We can go back into the grey whenever we want and discuss, argue, and dialogue further, and try to force our perspective upon others, in order to change decisions. Many of us have to live in that grey often as we struggle with the daily facts of Covid-19 transmission and the powerful stories we see and hear from our families about how their children are doing emotionally and mentally. But, please, whenever we find ourselves back in that grey, and from this point further evermore, let us constantly remind ourselves that we all share a common purpose, a common core and fundamental value--the one thing we care most about. Then, we'll take a collective, calm, and deep breath in solidarity knowing that, when we do this, we'll come to know that we ALL love our kids deeply.
Our WHY at Cascade View is: "In our community, we are passionate about meeting all learners where they are in service of each realizing their innate and extraordinary human potential. THIS is our great mission. Care to join us?"
Every single one of us has value and is important to the conversation. We grow our community and relationships more closely and warmly together when we can set aside heated arguments, acknowledge and honor the strong emotions that do exist, and stay laser-focused on what truly matters. I firmly believe there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can get in the way of helping us realize such a powerful shared purpose. Any hurdle that does prevent realizing our potential as a whole community is the result of our own fault of putting it there, ourselves, in the first place. May we never do that.
So, care to join us?