At King’s we want every person to belong; to feel welcome, encouraged, valued and supported. A sense of belonging is vital to our wellbeing - whether it be a football team, a school, church or our family, each of us need to feel that we belong, that we are accepted as part of something bigger.
Some of us are most comfortable with connections to one or two people, while others seek a larger and wider circle of connections - some even seek a connection to the whole world through social media!
Sadly, some seek belonging through the exclusion of others.
When we belong to a community our motivation, happiness and wellbeing are enhanced. We become aware through our interactions that everyone has difficult times and problems. Importantly, we learn that we are not alone and that our problems and issues are shared by many.
At King’s, we seek to build a sense of belonging for our students, our parents and caregivers, and our staff. We recognise that this takes boundless effort and lots of practice and that we don’t always get it right. Importantly, however, where all of us strive toward a common goal, the likelihood of success is far greater, if not assured.
What does this mean for each of us on a day to day basis?
- We should attempt to look for similarities, rather than focusing on our differences. The ability to respectfully share our experiences while accepting the other person’s differences creates understanding and peace. Importantly, acceptance does not always mean agreement - and that’s OK.
- Given we come into daily contact with a range of people with a range of different views, another strategy is to strive for genuine acceptance of other people. We will always meet people with alternate views and values to those we hold - and that’s (also) OK! Often too, there are elements of truth in another person’s viewpoint and this is a great opportunity to learn...even if you don’t agree.
- The enthusiastic acceptance of the opportunities that come our way is another way to break down barriers. Even if an activity is not one in which we would normally involve ourselves, each is an occasion to check our personal judgements and experience something outside our comfort zone. Most importantly, each is a chance to meet people with whom we would not normally associate.
- We should always be aware of the language we use. There are words that separate (and judge) and words that bring people together. Remember that each of us have strengths and offer our own unique contributions.
My prayer is that King’s continues to nurture genuine community with a strong sense of belonging and acceptance of all...and that this is valued.