Unless – An Open Letter to My Students

An open letter to the students I serve…

Like most, I appreciate a good Dr. Suess story. I do not believe we are ever too old to enjoy a little wisdom from Dr. Seuss; my favorite of his stories is The Lorax. Like many of his tales, there are valuable life lessons that go along with his whimsical rhymes. The message of the story is that if we do not collectively take care of our environment, we will not leave much of a liveable world for future generations. The Lorax speaks for the trees and the rest of the creatures that live in the truffula forest. While, there are many great lessons in this story, one line stands out to me more than any other. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

This school year, as in years past, has provided many great memories, but it has also brought about many trails as well. Many of these struggles and challenges go far beyond our walls. At times, I worry about the future of our school, our city, our state, our country. Then I look around our school. I see the amazing, talented young men and women I have the opportunity to serve every day. But, in all honesty, talent is overrated. Talent is only potential, it means nothing to long lasting success. There is so much potential walking our halls, but that potential does not matter unless…

As the future of our school, our community, our city, our nation, and our world, you decide what you care about…what matters to you the most. As you leave our building for the next stage of your life or just for summer break. It is my hope that Southport will, or has, provided you with the opportunity to decide what you will care about a whole awful lot. Strive for an ideal, not an end point. Pick a big, arduous idea and work to make it happen, knowing that your pursuit of this idea may never end. You many never reach perfection, but you just might catch excellence along the way. Finding happiness in life is easy. Happiness is about you, it is about “in the moment” gratification. Yet, happiness is fleeting because we, as human beings, are not designed to serve ourselves, we are designed to be a community, to be better together. While happiness is about you, fulfillment is about others. Fulfillment is about caring about others a whole awful lot…

One final thought to ponder as we wrap up another year…the last thing our world needs right now is more of the same. We need artists and innovators that will change the world for the better. We need people who are passionate and care about making the world we live in a better place for everyone. That world may be as small as our school or as large as our nation. But, unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

You are the person who can make that difference. Whether you believe it or not, realize I believe you are the individuals who can change the world.

Here is to making our school, our community, and our world a better place!

I speak for the Cardinals,

Mr. Knight

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