Over the holiday break my family and I enjoyed having the time to see several movies that had just come out. One we found particularly enjoyable was Rise of the Guardians. While this is an animated movie marketed to children, it has a much deeper message that I believe is relevant for us at the Graziadio School.
A classic tale of the battle of good (the Guardians) vs. evil (Pitch, the Boogey Man), the traditional Guardians (Santa, Sandman, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy) are joined by a new Guardian, Jack Frost. Jack, however, doesn’t understand why he has been chosen as a guardian or what he has to contribute to protecting children from the fear generated by Pitch.
Santa implores Jack to find his “center” (which for Santa is wonder, for Sandman dreams, for Easter Bunny hope and for Tooth Fairy light) and then he will know his role. Ultimately, as you might expect, Jack learns that his center is “fun” and through that plays an instrumental role in helping the guardians overcome Pitch’s fear so that children do not lose wonder, dreams, hope, light and fun.
As we begin a new year at the Graziadio School, reflecting on what is our center and, I think, how we live out our center in the classroom and in our interactions with our students and with one another is a valuable exercise.
Our mission statement articulates four core values that help to “center” us: integrity, courage, compassion and stewardship. In the coming year may we all exhibit integrity in our words and deeds, may we display courage to live out our values on a daily basis, may we show compassion for our colleagues and those less fortunate, and may we be good stewards of the gifts and resources God has given each of us.
Wishing each of you a blessed and centered 2013,
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Management