Yes, indeed, it is. We are off to a tremendous start– my 11th as principal– and I am still so grateful for this place and the people it draws.
The above expression (title of the article) is our working definition of joy, and it can be often overhead on our campuses and in our classrooms. As a staff, we intentionally cultivate an atmosphere of love and belonging through expressing to one another this important idea: we belong together, and it is good. Hence, it is good to be me, here with you, no matter what.
As we practice this as a community, we build shared joy together, and our joy levels rise.
We begin to experience the sweetness of relational connectedness and the sense that we are for one another. And, even when things become difficult, which is bound to happen at some point over the course of the year, we can still say: it IS GOOD to be me, here with you. Because it is. And this is how we grow and mature and learn how to do hard things.
Our school community read Joy Starts Here several years ago (a Life Model Book). The authors suggest that life-changing, maturity-enhancing, joy-spreading changes in character and community happen when three conditions are present at the same time:
1) The weak and the strong are together and interacting.
2) Tender responses to weakness are the rule.
3) The interactive presence of God maintains shalom.
Oh, let it be so!
May we seek to be joy-building peacemakers in our own families, our church bodies, and this precious school community. May we be tender with one another’s weaknesses this year, and– when we are gathered– may our joy be infectious as we labor together “for the children’s sake.”