When I think of the biggest change-makers in the world, so often I gravitate towards men like Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. They set the standards of modern leadership: charismatic, value-based, determined. But when I look around me, I see so many taking their lives into their own hands, taking one painful step forward at a time –people who might not be leading from the front, but always take the time to support and help those around them.
Mrs Chatfield is such a person. I think everyone who’s taken science knows her through her laugh, genuine and empathetic attention, and less obviously through her seamless organization of all the science practicals around the school. It’s difficult to feel upset around her –her infectious laugh, positive way of thinking and supportive personality makes it virtually impossible. It’s not that she smiles because life is perfect; it’s that she smiles in spite of it.
Sometimes, we just get too caught up in things. Exams, sports teams, responsibilities, expectations –but it’s important to look up and around. At the end of the day, it’s not the grades you earn, the achievements you’ve made, or the expectations you’ve reached that matter –life is for the smiles; the hearts that we touch, take time to grow and encourage; and thankfulness.
Mrs Chatfield’s last day is tomorrow. Take the time to celebrate her, thank her and give her a hug. Most importantly, remember to smile, to her and for her –it’ll make all the difference.
By Keniel Yao.