When I was in the sixth form at school, I had to write an essay entitled “Silence is Golden” for my university entrance exam. I remember framing a nicely planned response, which concluded with a reference to the silence of the very room which permitted me to contemplate the topic.
This week I revisited the theme in the context of teaching children in chapel about Taizé as part of our Global Citizenship week.
For those who don’t know, the Taizé community is located in the village of the same name in France. Founded by brother Roger Schutz, today young people come from all over the world to share in talking about what they believe in, singing together in many languages and keeping silence for prayer and contemplation.
In today’s very soundbite-filled world, the value of thinking time is perhaps greater than ever. I certainly find that when I create it in lessons, in assemblies and sometimes at home that my day is enriched by the space to think, reflect on work I’ve done or need to do, people I’ve met and need to help, and that often ideas come to me in that “headspace” (no pun intended!).
As busy parents it is often challenging to be quiet together, so many deadlines and time pressures pulling us in different directions. I do believe, however, that it really makes a difference and I recommend a spot of quiet contemplation this weekend and, who knows, perhaps throughout 2019.
In this week of Global Citizenship, we have reflected on many differences and similarities between ourselves and others, enjoyed dancing from different continents and thought deeply about injustice and inequality, whether racial, political or economic.
Against a background of political upheaval in parliament this week, children have asked insightful and well-informed questions of many of us and I’m proud of the levels of debate entered into in many activities this week.
As you head towards the weekend, feel proud of your children and let them tell you what they think.
Have a great weekend.