Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, recently published Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I was just pages into it when I came across this comment about a friend of hers: “ . . . now, as an adult, she finally had the perspective to appreciate the value of her own joy.” I was really struck by the this idea of valuing our own joy, and I can’t help but to think about it as I wander among the tents, games, food, music, and costumes at today’s Double Rainbow Fall Festival.
At Crossroads, we speak often of our primary tenet and six differentiators; all of them are true, and all of them are by design:
- We are a network of mutuality.
- It’s not enough to be smart; we expect our students to be smart and good.
- Everyone has a voice.
- Be yourself.
- Small is an asset.
- Flexibility provides balance.
- The City is our campus.
There are important values and practices that come out of these differentiators: empathy, good listening, relationships, generosity, and humility. Today, however, something new occurred to me: At Crossroads, we value our own joy.
I see daily examples of this. It’s in the laughter and the play of our students in common spaces during down times. It’s during announcements and musical Mondays. It’s at camp; it’s on field trips; it’s in art, athletics, chess, and theater; and it’s at lunch. It’s also in the classroom. There is a joy to learning, and there is a value to making learning joyful.
Finally, I also find it in our traditions, like Double Rainbow, where the theme is celebration, where there music and play and laughter, when the whole school plans and gives a joyful experience to itself. What a gift! That we value our own joy.
With great expectations,