16 October 2017

When we do something that is fun it is very often in the moment. When the activity is over, the fun is over. There are few, if any, positive effects afterwards. When we do something for someone else, the effect is different, the rest of our day feels better - we feel better. Just ask one of the boys involved in disabled surfing, Tranby Day Centre, or travelled to Tanzania in the July break this year, to name just three examples. Despite the widely known positive effects of giving time, encouragement or skill, we continue to observe a broader culture that is focussed on self - "What's in it for me?"

While Senior School boys continue to give generously to local, national and international causes, we occasionally hear stories of boys commenting on others on social media, consciously choosing to leave their rubbish scattered over a table or not inviting a boy standing on his own to join their group. Service is not just an event we attend where we support people that are not in our immediate school community. Service needs to be part of who we are.

Service is something we can do daily. We don't need to be invited. We can give daily through simple acts of kindness. We can give of our time, encouragement, support, knowledge, attention, or perhaps a gift or money if we wish, but importantly to give without expecting a reward. The paradox is when we give not expecting anything in return that we often find the reward is the greatest.

Dr Rob McEwan

Head of Senior School