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Community Reflections: November 10

Friday, November 10, 2017

Dear Burgundy Families,Elizabeth Lener

When we reflect on what brought us to Burgundy many of us talk about the community. As we know, it take a village to raise our children, and we were happy to find a place where there were caring teachers and families who would support us along our parenting journey. Community can sometimes feel easy during celebratory times such as the Fall Fair, a student recital, or the much-anticipated grand opening of our new building (all details TBA after the building’s done, of course!).

But the occasions when we really depend on community are during more troubling or uncertain times: times when our child may be experiencing difficulties with their peer group; times when we may feel left out; or even times when we are disappointed by someone or something in the community. During these moments we must ask ourselves guiding questions. How can we find ways to work together and learn from each other in these moments that define and shape the community? Whom can we look to for support? How can we share an upset in a constructive way? How can we give someone the benefit of the doubt and try to understand their perspective? How do we respectfully work with others when our wishes or ways of handling a situation are different from, or even in conflict with, someone else’s? How can we make sure that others get what they need as well as ourselves?

In a diverse community like the one we have enjoyed since Burgundy was founded, we will have issues that require debate and discussion and times when we don’t agree, even after coming together. In our work with students we remind them that our differences make us stronger as a community, even while they can make it impossible to see eye to eye. Taking the time to understand, respect, and appreciate each other is the glue that binds us.

In my mindfulness practice I have made a point of thinking about people and things to be thankful for each day and this focus has positively shifted the way I interact with others. Those around me in turn have become more open and receptive towards me. Kindness and positivity grow in this way. All members of our community are responsible for its health and it takes our constant care and attention as well as our love and patience. Let’s remember to be gentle with each other as we share our concerns, and to reach out to each other with gratitude as often as we can.

I am personally grateful for each member of this community!

Elizabeth