April 6

Truthfulness…telling the truth…not lying…being honest…authentic. This month, as we head into our final weeks of school, our value of the month is an important one for our students. Truthfulness. When asked what that means, students responded with the most widely understood definitions, which included not lying, telling what really happened, and being honest. Of equal importance in our consideration of truthfulness is being authentic, being true to yourself, and being who really are rather than someone you think others want you to be.

In the culture that many of our students are a part of, including the 24/7 presence of social media, there is a subtle pressure to be like everyone else. Self-esteem is based not on personal assessment but rather often on what others say. Exterior image and actions have become the measure or criteria of popularity, peer opinion, and self-worth. Our chapel program on Monday, however, was an encouragement to our students, young and old, to be true to themselves. If we are always looking to others to reflect who we are, then we fail to acknowledge our true nature, our gifts and talents, our unique qualities that are ours alone. And yet the people we are most attracted to are those who exude self-confidence, self-assurance, and a glow that seems to say, “I like being me!” Of course that’s easier said than done, particularly for students in the early adolescent years, when the opinion of peers seems to be the only voice they hear. However, it is the encouragement that we give them to follow their “true North,” honoring the gifts that God has given, that matters most.

At St. Michael’s, we often sing a school-wide favorite song, “The Gifts of the Spirit.” Students across K-8 can recite “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control“–qualities that we all hope to display each day, qualities that we hope to live by. But I also hope that we can model and be a part of guiding our young charges to recognize and embrace the qualities, gifts, and talents that are uniquely theirs. God has made each of us to be individuals, and so, borrowing from Shakespeare: Unto thine own self be true!

Margaret Moore

Head of School