Dear KES Family:
With a population of 25 million people, Shanghai is the largest city in China. Like Mexico City or New York, the sheer size of the metropolis and the density of the people is almost overwhelming. The contrast of elements - from trees a thousand years old to meeting "Tami" the robot at the help desk in the train station - is staggering. Having just finished a visit with families in Jinan and basked in the peace and ancient natural beauty of Confucius’ historic home, Shanghai offers its own steep contrast.
Visiting the grounds of Confucius’ school that first welcomed students two and a half millennia ago is humbling. KES is not even two and a half centuries old! It was reassuring, however, to know that in some ways the teachings are not altogether dissimilar. Confucius espoused gentleness and calm. He valued loyalty and forgiveness. Dignity and respect for others were core lessons. One has to wonder whether the anxiety levels and emotional dysregulation of today’s youth would be greatly relieved if harmony was a goal in itself and part of the modern-day curriculum. Coincidentally, we have just finished our Wellness Week: teaching students about balance, the many aspects of personal health, and the importance of reflection.
Peace has been hard to find this week, however. The Broncos tragedy has hit home for all of us. The student, staff, parent, and alumni response has been heartwarming. Sometimes the School is far more than a ‘school’. This week it has reached beyond itself and joined with those who have sent messages and healing thoughts of love to all who are grieving.