There is a miss held view that the saying “May you live in interesting times” is an ancient Chinese curse, implying that the expression is used with the clear implication that “uninteresting times’, of peace and tranquillity, are more life-enhancing than interesting ones. There is a strongly held belief that the phrase is neither Chinese nor ancient but actually emanates from the 20th Century. The person who really brought this phrase to the public attention was Robert Kennedy in a speech in Cape Town in June 1966 in which he said: “There is a Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history”. That speech is as true in our current circumstances as it was in 1966. We are certainly living in “interesting times”, they are times of danger and uncertainty (there are many thousands of people dying around the world and we do not know when this will end) and will be more open to the creative energy of men (around the world thousands of scientists are trying to develop a vaccine for COVID 19, their creative energy will succeed in producing one, hopefully very soon). At the time of writing I have no idea as to when we will return to “normality”, whatever that is. Normality going forward will be very different for our learners than it was for my generation. I hope that, whilst it will be different, it will be better and that our learners will need to play an important role, along with their generation around the world, in defining the new “normal”. Being at the Academy will give our learners the opportunity to think differently, to analyse and solve problems, to give back to their communities, to understand right from wrong and to be a source of inspiration to all those that they interact with in the future. Their education has been interrupted and we do not know for how long this interruption will continue, there are so many uncertainties which will be resolved over the coming months.
It will be the responsibility of all Academy staff, from the gardeners to the CEO, to ensure that the current situation is not detrimental to the development of our learners. When they return to the Academy, hopefully sooner rather than later, they will be anxious, stressed, have unanswered questions and need our full support. As a family we will work together, we will ensure success, we will answer their questions and we will come out of these times stronger. Let us look forward to “uninteresting times” and a return to education as soon as it is possible.
Keep, well, keep safe and keep healthy.
Word from the CEO:
by Les Baillie