We Are All In This Together
May 15, 2020
Throughout the coronavirus crisis there has been a lovely refrain which has been employed to express our common resolve in the face of this challenge – we are all in this together. The recognised reference point of the refrain will be different for the generations: for some it is a classic line out of a Ben Lee song; while for others it is the title of a song from the soundtrack of High School Musical. Whatever the case, it has been a rallying cry for many at a time of profound loneliness and loss.
I have been grateful for the phrase and what it communicates. It taps into a truth which is core to a TIGS education – that we are interdependent. One of the aspirations of modern people is independence. There is something to be said for this. While prolonged dependence is a necessity for some, the normal path of maturation is to move from dependence to independence. But this can easily be misconstrued to suggest that once we have attained independence, we have no more need for the ministrations of others or that we are free from our obligations and responsibilities towards others. This is short-sighted.
At TIGS we educate towards interdependence. This is based on the truth that God has given each of us gifts, talents and resources which he expects us to use for the enrichment of others. A key text is 1 Peter 4.10:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
That is about as far from independence as one can get. It speaks of a wonderful interdependence which, when actioned, results in community connectedness, strength and growth. We have seen this principle in play in the broader community as we have taken stringent measures together to “flatten the curve”. The results of our interdependence speak for themselves.
As I look around TIGS I see this principle at work in a variety of wonderful ways. I see our property and cleaning staff working overtime to ensure the cleanliness and safety of our campus; I see teachers going the extra mile to cater for the learning needs of students both remotely and in the classroom; I see the School leadership mapping out a cautious but courageous return to School for students and staff; I see parents supporting their children in their learning from home; I see students rising to the challenge of their new normal with characteristic courage and resolve. We are all in this together, and together we are making wonderful progress. It is a delight to be a part of the TIGS community.
There has been much talk about what the new normal might look like when, by God’s grace, we reach the other side of this pandemic. I hope an essential element of our new normal will be a new appreciation of our need for interdependence.