One of the most joyful aspects of young children is their natural sense of enthusiasm and hope for what each day brings.
When my children were little, I often felt that the main difference between them and me was that I wanted to go to bed. Life for our young people is full of possibilities and opportunities that generate a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them and what they are going to do ‘when they grow up’.
I was fortunate recently to hear a speech from the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who had some wonderfully positive and hopeful messages. In particular he reflected on how, in early childhood, we see life as a gift, as opposed to adulthood where we feel it is more like something to which we are entitled.
Our young people today move amongst a torrent of negative media and the reporting of ongoing crises. Commentators frequently refer to things that are ‘broken’, chasing media engagement and feeding into our brain’s negativity bias. Although as a community we must recognise these challenges, we still need to provide hope for what the future can bring. Generation after generation has had to deal with challenges which, through our collective efforts, have been overcome. There are still so many good people in the world doing so much in the service of others. Schools are so much better than they were, the world is still full of beauty, of art, of opportunity.
For me, I gain hope from the young people I meet every day at Beaconhills College who I know will leave our school to make a positive contribution. At the end of the day, there is so much for which we can be grateful.
Hope is what our young people need to feed their dreams and drive them towards a future to which they aspire.