First Assembly 0304
Thursday, September 4, 2003
I hope that you’ve started to make the difficult transition back into school routine. I also hope you all had a terrific summer. Keep those memories. They will sustain you. The late summer and early fall, however, is one of the most beautiful parts of the year, and we can look forward to it in the weeks ahead.
I’d like to extend a special welcome to the new boys at Crescent, who have made the momentous and courageous leap to another school. We welcome you to Crescent and hope that your education here allows you to fulfill your potential which is an important part of our mission statement. Thank you for attending the school.
At the grade 3 level, every boy is a new boy. I’d like them to stand now and face the back. Boys, what you see before you in those lovely new blue blazers, are soon to be the graduates of this school. Between you and them are the grade steps along the way. I’d like the grade 3s to wave to the future, and in turn, the future to wave back. A wonderful journey is ahead for these newest new boys. (Please sit down.)
Traditionally at the first assembly of the year, the Headmaster offers “words to live by” or something like that. I’d like to continue that tradition, but alter it somewhat in the interests of clarity and efficiency. I’m going to suggest that this year – and I hope for years to come – we strive to observe one word. That word is honesty.
But it’s not just honesty in the literal sense. I’m asking each one of you to be honest with yourselves on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute basis. And that decision has tremendous ramifications.
You see, I’m convinced that we all know what’s right. It feels right when we do it and when we say it. If we are sincerely honest with ourselves, we will heed that inner voice – that inner black box that records the truth – and do and say the right thing. In all honesty, I believe that we want the best for ourselves and for others.
If you value honesty, and honour it, plagiarism, that ever present temptation to use another’s thoughts and works, will disappear. It isn’t honest to steal another’s thoughts and hard work. It isn’t honest to them or to you – or to your teachers who are assessing your work.
If we value honesty, and honour it, theft will not occur in our school. If we’re honest with each other and ourselves we will quickly realize that none of us in this school really needs anything – other than self respect and the respect of others. To steal from others erodes our trust in one another, and honestly, there’s not much more important than that. If it’s not yours, leave it where it is. You don’t really need it.
That’s my word for you this year. Honesty. It doesn’t get much simpler – and yet more ethically complex than that.
I wish you a great year as you strive for personal honesty. You and your school will be better for the struggle.