Thursday 25th August 2022

What is the significance of the numbers 9000, 300 and 26?

I was confident few people would know the answer to the above question.  How wrong I was!  It turns out lots of students and staff recognise these numbers as stats shared by Michael Jordan: 9000 missed shots, 300 lost games, 26 potential match winning shots not made.  You might be forgiven for wondering about the purpose of this illustration in the midst of a chapel and assembly so oriented toward celebration.  The point of course is Jordan's conviction that his success was built upon the fact that he had failed over and over and over again.  

Celebration is an important and healthy dimension of life.  Good celebration enables us to cherish moments, yet reminds us these 'moments' are part of a process.  Accomplishment whether in academic life, music, theatre and the arts, or sport rarely comes without a tremendous amount of hard work. Others have usually assisted us along this road.  Celebration is a great time to recognise those who have helped us.  In addition, it can contribute to our internal motivation to go forward as it stimulates gratitude, empathy and pride.  We learn to be pleased for others.

Perhaps most importantly good celebration encourages us to consider what we mean by success.  As Mr Garry mentioned in his article our lives will continue to be shaped by the way we win and lose together. Our success lies in the way we are a community which continues to celebrate the success of others, that hurts when others hurt, that seeks healing when it can, which thrives with the thriving of others.  From a faith perspective celebration gives space to acknowledge that so much of the opportunity and life we have is a gift to us from others and supremely from God.  

A healthy community doesn't just get to share in the pride when we win, and conversely in a mistaken sense that we should be embarrassed if we lose.  Rather, we are joined to the way we win and the way we lose—to the way we celebrate. There is enormous mana in winning and losing well.  Our life foundations depend on it. 

Let us be people who celebrate well and therefore continue to be  a school family that flourishes in good times and in tough or painful times.  This is success.