Message from the School Chaplain – Issue 06, 19 May 2017
You have to admire the checkout guys and girls who smile, or try to smile, no matter how tired they are, and wish you a great day, even when you are the last customer on a Thursday night. I’ve seen many of our own Frederick Irwin students present themselves in a personable way to customers who aren’t always the easiest to deal with.
I showed a clip this week to my Year 9 classes as part of their course. It was from a Mr Bean episode where Mr Bean goes to church. It is hilarious visual comedy, but there were students who sat completely unmoved by the episode, and whenever others showed a hint of even a smile beginning to ooze out of a student’s very grim face, a quick glance from another wiped away any joy.
Is this why the Internet is flooded with life coaches who teach people how to have joy, see joy and be joy? And let us also not forget that in many cases, young people only mimic what they see in the adults they have contact with.
Mr Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia, once said that life wasn’t meant to be easy… BUT is it that bad in Australia that spontaneous, unprompted joy at simple things needs to be taught?
Those who have less find more joy in little than some of us do in much.
Perhaps more students need to experience life in a developing country, walking alongside those who have less, instead of observing them from their tour buses, taxis etc. as they head back to their five star hotels and resorts.
OR, closer to home, volunteer to help with the homeless, the dispossessed and the challenged who inhabit the shadows of our society.
Last Saturday night I saw great joy and experienced great joy that brought tears to my eyes at the 10th Anniversary concert of the Spirit of the Streets choir. People who have been through so much, have so little materially and gave and gave and gave with joy.
A favourite children’s song when we pilgrimage has the words:
“Joy is the flag flown high on the castle of my heart…when the King (God) is in residence there.”
Perhaps this is the truth we need to embrace.
Father Noel Oakey