3学期始業式 1月8日(木)

 3学期の始業式が行われました。
 先日より来日しているシスターにも出席していただきました。校長先生のお話の後、シスターメリーアンの話をシスター弘田に通訳していただきました。


校長先生のお話

【3学期始業式】

おはようございます。そして、新年おめでとうございます。
さて、皆さんはどのようなお正月を過ごしましたか?私は、1月2日に成人式に出席し、新成人の門出を祝うことができました。とてもうれしい1年のスタートをきることができたと思っています。
 新学期をスタートするにあたって、中3・高3の皆さんは、間近に迎える入試、あるいはもう少し先の卒業後の歩みについて。中2・高2の皆さんは、最高学年に向けての準備の時期に。中1・高1の皆さんは、4月以降に学んだことを振り返りながら1年間のまとめをしてください。
やらなければいけないことを確実に行って欲しいと思います。
今学期は厳しい寒さの中での学習、部活動となります。3学期の学習時間は多くはありません。常にそのことを意識しながら、しっかりとした体調管理をしてください。発熱やかぜ、けが等は避けたいものであり、自らの体調管理は基本的なことです。欠席することなく、元気に3学期を過ごしてください。
 先日、本校を卒業された方と話す機会がありました。「本校の生徒の様子でお気づきのことはありませんか」と尋ねると、「大丈夫ですよ」と答えていただけました。しかし、「今時の学生さんだからね」という言葉もついていたのです。この言葉の裏には「もう少しこうあって欲しい」という思いがあったと思われます。いろいろなところで、いろいろな立場の本校関係者が、いろいろな思いを持っておられます。「中学生・高校生だから」と甘えることなく、すばらしい生き方を貫いて欲しいものです。
 さて、皆さんも既に承知のことと思いますが、今年のNHK大河ドラマ「花燃ゆ」が1月4日から始まりました。皆さんはこのドラマを見られましたか?この大河ドラマは、吉田松陰先生とその妹文さんを中心に、困難を乗り越えていった杉家の強い絆と、松陰先生の志を継いでいった若者たちの青春群像を描いたものです。昨年から萩市内で撮影も行われていました。NHKの大河ドラマの影響力はかなりのものです。今年は日本全国に「萩」の名が広まり、全国から多くの方が萩を訪れると思います。萩で生きる私たちは、先人の築いてくれた歴史にあぐらをかくことなく、それを礎として、さらに大きなものを築いていかなければいけません。萩のすばらしさを外へ発信するいい機会でもあります。私たち萩光塩学院においても同様です。63年の歴史にあぐらをかくことなく、生徒の皆さん、我々教職員それぞれが、さらに大きなものを築き上げていかなければならないと考えます。
日々の生活の中で、萩市民として、萩光塩の生徒として恥ずかしくない、堂々とした振る舞いをしていきましょう。
 それぞれの学年を締めくくる充実した3学期となることを願っています。


シスターメリーアンのお話
KOEN JUNIOR/ SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL END OF SEMESTER CEREMONY

Ohayou gozaimasu! Good morning to each of you, most especially to the director of Koen, all the staff members and students of the Junior and Senior High School.

It is an honor for me to have been invited to share some reflections with you at this end of semester ceremony. I am most grateful for this invitation. However, when it first came to me, it was both a surprise and challenge. My first wondering was “Whatever will I say to these young people?” The invitation came with a directive for a topic…” What would I expect from young people today?” It is an interesting topic and one that needs thought and serious reflection. And, at the same time, it is not an easy one.

We live in a very complex and beautiful world and right now, 2015, we live at a critical moment in our earth’s history. Our world is becoming increasingly more interdependent and at the same time, more fragile. With greater mobility than we have ever experienced in our history, plus the migration of peoples for a variety of reasons in all parts of the world, we now live in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures, religions, and traditions. In the midst of this, it is crucial that we recognize that we are one human family and one Earth community.

There are many challenges that deeply affect the meaning of life and the dignity of human beings. Poverty and world hunger, wars and growing militarization, immigration of people to find work and provide for the basic necessities of life, new slaveries that break the human spirit, plus global warming and ecological imbalance, all these threaten our ability to live together in peace. It is necessary to reflect and re-think the meaning of our presence in the world, to re-discover the unity among us as members of one human family, as brothers and sisters. In the global world in which we live, the problems that face humanity are inter-connected … and cannot be dealt with separately. I am sure you have studied about these things in some of your classes.

Interconnection, interdependence is part of this new world that is awakening. All over our planet there are wonderful movements for peace, for non-violence, for food for all peoples, basic human rights, financial justice, for care of our mother earth. There are vast global and human networks searching for and working towards an alternate way of living, an alternate world… one that is more human, more just and more humanizing for all peoples. There are thousands of people all around our world striving to build bridges of communication, dialogue and to take action for peace.
Right now, you are probably wondering why I am speaking about all these things to you. Well, you are the future of our world, and of our entire planet. You are ending a semester, moving on in studies … some of you will be completing your years here at Koen very soon and move on to University. Remember the topic??? What do I expect of young people today? Well, after lots of reflecting, I realized that what I most expect is that you live up to the name of your school…KO EN … Salt and Light. My deepest desire and hope is that you will be salt and light in our world. What does it mean to be “salt and light” in our world … the world just described to you?

Salt gives flavour and taste to our food making it delicious. We use it for a number of other things also. For me, to be “salt” means to “make a difference” in our world. To choose to make a difference… to give oneself to something you truly believe in, something that will help others, something that will build a better world for all people, something worth dedicating your one precious life to unconditionally. I do not know what that is … that is for you to search for and to discover. It is that something that will make life worth living … and that ultimately will make you happy also. There are thousands of young and not so young people volunteering their time and energy to help others … they feed the hungry in soup kitchens, help immigrants find employment or learn the language of their new country, others read to the blind or tutor children who need extra help, still others spend time with the elderly and forgotten people of their societies. Making a difference means reaching out to someone who needs help … reaching out of yourself to offer another your presence.

To be “light” has to do with allowing your talents, values and gifts to shine … to not be afraid of being who you are and sharing all you have been given with others. It means being a person for others … not closed in on yourself, your own needs, wants and desires. It means living with a broad horizon that includes others, opens to others needs and connects with other people. It is during your years here at KO EN that you are learning about your talents, intellectual aptitudes, physical abilities, artistic gifts… and you are learning to be a “person for others”. Our talents and gifts are not given for ourselves alone … they are given for others. You cannot put them “under a bushel basket” … they need to shine as you use them for others. Our globalized world offers many opportunities to be LIGHT, especially if we choose to work towards alternatives for a more human world. It means cultivating a sensitive, compassionate heart towards human suffering in all of its forms … it means overcoming our fears and prejudices in the face of diversity … and it means being tender, loving and just, in all things.

It is important to realize that being “SALT” and “LIGHT” begins right now … not only in the future. It begins with your fellow classmates, your families, your friends and those you may not even know but you come in contact with at times. You can begin today to “make a difference” and to be a “person for others” wherever you are. It can be as simple as a smile or offering a helping hand to someone who is alone. You will need to think about it … and see what this might mean for you in your everyday life now and into the future. I promise you… it will be worthwhile.

And, now, I would like to conclude with a short story. It is a favourite of mine since I spent most of my missionary life in Micronesia, close to the ocean. Perhaps you have heard it before since it has been around for a while. Even if you have heard it, it is worth listening to again … its’ meaning is profound. It begins as all good stories…

“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his journal writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance so early in the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a young woman and the young woman wasn't dancing, but instead she was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young woman paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the sea." The man said, "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?"
"The sun is up, the tide is going out, and they are caught on the shore. And if I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die."
"But, young woman, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young woman listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."
Author Unknown
There is something very special in each and every one of us… in you, in me, in all of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to “make a difference” in our world and for others’. And if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our vision, the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.
Dear students of KO EN… be SALT, be LIGHT …be a person for others and make a difference with your lives!
Arigatou gosaimas … thank you!