On Friday, our Grade 11 class held their Friendship Assembly for the Graduating Class. This is a tradition that affords our Grade 11s an opportunity to express their love, thanks and appreciation to the Graduates. I love that it is entitled the Friendship Assembly as it highlights the power that our small, integrated community has on relationships; however, friendships can be tricky too.
Simon Sinek, a marketer, author and motivational speaker said the following about friendship, “The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.”
As a middle-aged person, I feel that I have a good handle on the notion of friendship. I am blessed with many friends spanning many ages, and from many different stages and experiences in my life. What I am most grateful for is that my close friends know who I am, regardless of title, image or situation. As such, I am at my most comfortable when with my closest friends.
However, friendships are not always easy, a fact that we, in our small, integrated community must keep in mind as we guide our girls through Grades 1-12 during their time at St. Clement’s. I use the word ‘guide’ intentionally because we must be cheerleaders, supporters and bystanders, while also allowing our girls to learn independently how to navigate relationships and, ultimately, stay true to themselves while connecting with others.
As I attended our Friendship Assembly on Friday, I reflected on the paths that our girls from Grades 11 and 12 have walked. I know that some friendships have come and gone over the years. I also trust that, as a result, our girls know themselves better and have built enduring connections, the kind of friendships that will ensure that when they need something, their friends will be there.