There are lots of rules and expectations in our lives and different ways that people in society view them. Some see them as controlling our lives and so feel constrained by them. Others view these same rules as things that promote safety, build society and protect relationships. For example, we can see the tax laws as an unfair intrusive burden or as a way to build infrastructure and provide health and education.
Standing back from a law or expectation and asking how it helps to keep us safe, build society and protect relationships is wise. It helps us to calibrate our moral compass and lifts people above doing what they are told, to choosing to live in a way that focuses on what is just, recognises the dignity and worth of all people and that serves the common good.
The Ten Commandments and the Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount can be seen in this same way. We can see them as a set of rules or we can unpack them more deeply and see them as a powerful mirror for us to see ourselves and others. Instead of feeling pious about our compliance with the literal definition of the 7th commandment we might ask ourselves, ”How might we be taking from others?” By delving deeper we can use the commandments as a basis for reflection on our relationship with God and with others. We can nourish our inner moral compass to enable us to live well.
These are important questions and conversations to have in our homes as well. As children grow into early adolescence and begin to question the beliefs and rules of their parents, they will need us a sounding board to develop their own personal beliefs and values system. When the school and home are working together on such a task, the children in our care will benefit.
Mr Mark Ash / Principal