The tale of two saints – and lessons from a Marvel movie – are behind an end-of-term call to excellence by Principal David Ruggiero.
Mr Ruggiero issued the call at Wednesday’s ELC-12 assembly – also our first whole-school gathering for the year.
“Today is the Feast of St Peter and Paul,” Mr Ruggiero told the assembly.
“And St Peter and Paul were two very flawed men. They really didn’t do the best that they could do when they had the opportunities.
“So, St Peter and Paul made that conscious decision to be better blokes. And that’s our challenge for this year.”
He then used lessons learnt from the Marvel movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to further strengthen the call to excellence.
“At the end of Dr Strange, they talk about ‘are you truly happy?’. Dr Strange has given some thought about what happiness is. He’s said, ‘I’ve saved the world, but I don’t think I’m truly happy’.
“Sometimes, happiness can be those external feelings that you get on the surface, and they come and go. It might be the Amazon delivery that you get excited with, it might be the new level you get into in a game, or a skill level, whatever it might be.
“But there are other things that are a lot deeper than the superficial. And that takes time and contemplation and prayer. And if you do not spend that time in slowing down, you will not find who is at your core, that inner voice, that third eye, as Dr Strange now has.
He said happiness and excellence were different for everyone.
“It might be truly happy as a young man kicking a footy, or really happy enjoying your maths,” he told the assembly.
“Mostly importantly, it might be in your relationships with other people and forgiving yourself and forgiving others.
“The four pillars that we have here as a Dominican school, and the experience of being a Blackfriars community, points us in the direction – in action and contemplation – of truth. Of finding what is truly within me. You have to have the thinking and you have to have the doing.
“So, my challenge for us as we reach this mid-way point of the year is to do something about being excellent. To stop over these three weeks of holiday … and have in the back of your mind, how do I be a better human being?”