William Shakespeare famously wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," in his popular tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Such a quote raises valuable questions: Why do names for things matter? Why do we care for labels? Why do some words carry significant weight, while others less?
People are driven to seek understanding in the world around them. We long to make sense of our world, to clearly communicate our ideas to the world and the people around us. As learners, as teachers, as citizens of the world, we are naturally curious—and that's a good thing!
Words are a vessel to commune with the world, to give voice to experiences and ideas. Language is a glorious means to offer support, to heal, but can also be used to hurt. Learning and understanding is lifelong; it is an ongoing process. It is vital that we, as lifelong learners, seek out new understandings and challenge our old ideas and preconceived notions—to be okay with making mistakes, knowing that enlightenment is beyond the door of error.
As Maya Angelou once said, "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
As we come to a close of Transgender Awareness Week, leading to Transgender Day of Remembrance this Sunday, November 20, may we never forget the ongoing action that needs to happen, the responsibility of all of us to ensure everyone feels welcome, safe, valued, and seen.
Mr. Jonathan Cheverie Junior School Faculty Junior School Musical Director