When thinking about this new school year, what immediately comes to my mind is the song “Home”. Which you may be familiar with from The Wiz. For those of you who don’t know it the first couple of lines say:
When I think of home
I think of a place where there's love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing
Very much like the song I wish we were on Episcopal’s Campus, hanging on the porch of stew watching the sunsets, anxiously decorating our rooms, and making center runs just for the fun of it. This, however, is not the case. Instead, we are miles apart looking at one another through small Webex boxes, fighting two pandemics: Covid-19 and injustices in America.
As we enter the new school year it is important to acknowledge this brutal truth. It is just as important to acknowledge the strength of our community. Whether you have been a part of this family for four years or are entering as a new family member this year, we all play a vital role in how our community will look this year. We have the choice to stand for justice. We have the choice to face these challenges head-on. We have the choice to create an amazing school year, even with the odds stacked against us.
The key element to success this year will come in the form of unity. On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly three thousand people lost their lives. Planes fell out of the sky; buildings collapsed, and fires erupted, altering the course of history. Out of the ruins and chaos stood a unified nation. First responders flooded the streets of D.C and NewYork to ensure that no Woman or Man was left behind. Firefighters and paramedics sacrificed their lives so others could live. Bystanders took action. And the nation unified under one cause. When all hope seemed lost a divided nation put aside their differences and stood together as one body.
This historic event altered the lives of many individuals, much like how the events of 2020 have changed our lives before our eyes. We must be willing to come to each other's needs this year. We must be willing to go the extra mile to ensure everyone feels welcomed and loved in this community. We must be willing to show empathy. Like many of us have sung in Chapel a multitude of times- We Are one body. We must hold true to this chapel song and make this school year one to remember. Not because of the challenges we will face, but memorable because of how we will overcome these challenges as a community.