Spring is my favorite season. We emerge from the dark and gray of winter. The daylight hours lengthen and before our eyes the forest changes. Nature seems to be teaching us the lesson that hope does “spring eternal” if we are patient for the coming of all that signifies new life and a new beginning.
Yet, literally and figuratively, it is not always easy to wait for a new beginning. Our world’s ongoing struggle on so many fronts has forced us to continue to wait for a lasting peace. Like me, you might feel a bit of trepidation as you begin reading the news each day, wondering if yet another atrocity will have been made in some new corner of the world. While this news has always been tragic, it became even more painful in March when we lost two of our own FIS alumni – Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski.
Some of you may remark that the current issues in our region have been plaguing other parts of the world for many years. I know this all too well. I was the Head of School in Mumbai when, in November of 2008, a terrorist attack took the lives of 164 innocent people while injuring over 300 others. Unfortunately, I am intimately familiar from past experience with the current state of affairs we are now facing in Europe and beyond.
I do not have any easy answers to offer our community. I know some of you have relatives and friends in countries where recent acts of violence have brought a heightened state of anxiety. And while I do believe there has been progress toward reducing some of these threats to peace, I also know such progress can never be fast enough.
While there are many questions that remain unanswered, I can again say that I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a multi-cultural community that continues to demonstrate the acceptance and support of diversity our world needs. Amidst the tragedy, it was also inspiring to see the outpouring of love for Alexander and Sascha, both from our current faculty and staff, as well as from the vast FIS alumni community around the world.
In many respects, FIS does not reflect the “real world”. We are a place where families thrive, where motivated students learn in an exceedingly safe environment, and where teachers go the extra mile to ensure students’ needs are met. It is an unfortunate reality that we represent an exception, rather than the norm for most families. However, I believe being raised and taught in such an environment will allow our students to be the voice of reason and compassion for the next
There is indeed a reason to have hope as a new spring season arrives.
The post above appeared in the May 2016 issue of FIS World. Read the full issue here.