No man is an island


The words of John Donne, which I quoted in an assembly a fortnight ago, seem particularly relevant at this time. None of us is indeed ‘an island’, and though I don’t normally like to hold forth on world affairs, the tragic situation in the Ukraine demands a response of some kind.

It’s hard to know what to say. First, I suppose, we must all acknowledge that boys, staff and parents alike will feel the horror and anxiety which the war in that ‘far away (seeming) country’ is causing. And we may well feel helpless too. I know that the Chaplain is finding ways we can help with charitable giving, particularly through humanitarian charities, and I am sure many readers will already be finding ways of doing what they can. We have as a school offered what we can for possible education next year, though of course this is a drop in the ocean.

We must also always remember that what is happening cannot be laid at the door of the Russian people as a whole. We do have a small number of Russian families within our community, and they must be feeling particularly at a loss at the moment: we are here for them too.

Finally, as a school which believes so strongly in global citizenship, which embraces internationalism, respectful thought, the IB and languages, we must continue to hold fast to those values, so that our future leaders are makers of peace, not war. That may seem a vague, even hollow hope, but it starts with empathy, thoughtfulness and courtesy, as well as with independent, reasoned thought. To that extent, we can indeed all ‘do our bit’.