Good afternoon FLRSD,
With the extended holiday weekend incredibly wrapping up, there were many stories and ideas that were sent to me about being thankful and appreciative. Yet, I am sometimes saddened by the fact that so often we focus on “thanking someone” or “I should have told someone how much I cared”, either at a holiday or after a tragedy, rather than making it part of our daily lives. We can never be too busy, too stressed, too overwhelmed to be kind, helpful and collaborative. We cannot make everyone happy, nor can we “fix” most things, but we certainly can always listen to the feelings that overwhelm all of us, either positively or negatively, in support of each other.
Although it would be easy - and the norm to speak about all of the difficulties our nation currently faces that we read about daily - I felt it is important to attempt to look at what we do have, rather than what we do not have or what we opine for. Ultimately, as often is the case, I found a message in the writings of others that was shared with me from a community member.
This Thanksgiving message is one that subtly and not so subtly epitomizes what I hope we all continue to take hold of as the holidays come upon us: That every child here within Freetown and Lakeville deserves the best education possible; that every family must be valued even when they do not agree with what others think; that we must all be thankful for what we have; and that what matters most in society is how we take care of each other. The long term cost of not providing this, is monumentally more expensive than taking the comfortable way out. We hopefully are thankful for the many blessings we have, small and large and that when we see the light in our life, the darkness does not rule our thinking. May this message resonate in some way with you.
One day, the father of what “seemed” to be a very successful family took his teenage son on a trip to another part of the country with the express purpose of showing him how other people live. He assumed his son would learn to appreciate what “success” brought to his family and how the father’s incredible hard work and demanding ways lead to very positive things. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of a very loving, happy family whose parents work for the man. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how that family lived?” the father asked. “Oh yeah,” said the son. “So, tell me, what have you learned from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported fancy lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our covered patio reaches to the front yard and their uncovered one looks out at the whole horizon. We have a piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond what my eyes could take in. We have people who serve us, but they serve others and each other. We buy our food and waste much of it, but they grow theirs and reuse almost all of it. We have rock walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.
The boy’s father was speechless.Then his son added, “Thanks Dad for showing me how much others have and that what we have isn’t the only way to be. I love what we have but I really appreciate how others love what they have, too!”
Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we are provided, instead of worrying about what we think we “must” have to be happy . Appreciate what we have, most importantly especially each other and love the moments not the things!
This Thanksgiving, I hope we can make the choice to be happy about something. Make the choice to be thankful….Think long and hard about the good things in your life……and be thankful for all of the blessings you have received. But more importantly, be thankful during your trials and difficult times as well. For while they aren’t any fun, they mold our character, teach us important lessons, and grow our belief.” - Glenn Beck
As we head into the holiday season, I thank YOU for all that you give to our children and thank everyone here within our schools for what they give each day: the lessons, the time, the opportunity to explore, their desire to allow students to speak their voice, share their pain and achieve while being the shoulder to lean on in times of difficulty. The responsibility of being an a Principal,Assistant Principal,Secretary,l Teacher, Paraprofessional,Nurse, Staff member, IT and Library Media Specialist, Food Service, Custodial or Maintenance staff, SRO, Coach, Club advisor, Central Office Administrator and staff as well School Committee member,Town Official, First Responder and Community partners are amongst the most important in the world and are some of the most maligned. Please thank them in some small way for all they do!
We must embrace the light rather than simply feed the darkness. As the long Thanksgiving weekend is upon us it is my hope that we truly give thanks to others beyond those sitting across from us.
As the story above stated, it is our choice to look at the “what we have” rather than the what we don’t, and especially not in what “they don’t”. Those of us within FLRSD absolutely see the light!
May your holiday week be filled with health, loved ones and positivity.
Be well, be safe and most of all be … in peace
Alan Strauss, Superintendent
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