Monday, December 14, 2015

What's in Another (Green) Flag?

Last Friday morning, as the the children of ISKL sat in their first block of the day, Mr. Myers was on his way west. His drive took him to Shah Alam and, specifically, to the closing events of the Eco-Schools International Conference. His role there was as a "filler" for the students but given that our high schoolers were well into "exams" mode it made more sense for him to be there in their stead. He represented ISKL proudly as the recipient of a 2nd Eco-Schools Green Flag award, the only school in Malaysia to be honored in this way. 

But though Mr. Myers stood there on his own in a sea of other recipients of different awards, he was fully aware that this was incidental. Because he was representing an able body of students - the Green Council - who have handled researched the evidence, gathered the data, communicated the results, completed the application, ran the tour and made a fine presentation to the visiting team of university professors. Certainly, there are accolades to be given to the Green Council. But it still wouldn't be enough. 

That's because the Green Council is merely a representative of our entire school's body. Their task, among other things, is to document the successes of ISKL clubs, students and classes in sustainable and service learning related projects. Though they did their job impeccably their task only revealed a small glimpse of what ISKL does on a daily basis.  It is often small things that make a community what it is. They are an often anecdotal - but no less meaningful - measure of the cumulative commitment to making positive change to the world around them. 

And so, though one man stood on the podium representing a small group of 25 students, who in turn represented several clubs and classrooms, it was all about the entire ISKL community coming together in the hallways, in the gardens, in the classrooms, in the meeting rooms and in the theatres. They come together to have conversations that are meaningful and purposeful, that are ongoing and never ending. They touch sensitivities and thoughts and empathy and attitudes. They touch teaching and learning and behaviors. And, in the end, they are transformational in that they touch our lives in millions of ways that, through collective capacity, make a lasting and important difference. 
Congratulations to all of us, young and younger, for doing the things that matter. The award is merely a recognition for all the cumulative wonderful things that you think, you say and you do to make the world a better place each and every day.

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