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December 16, 2016

How Full is Your Bucket?

Fostering Community

Today in chapel, we shared the story, “How Full is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. For those who don’t know the book, it’s the tale of Felix, a young boy who awakens one morning to discover an invisible bucket floating overhead. Every interaction throughout his day serves to fill or drain his bucket and the buckets of others, drip by drip, drop by drop. Felix discovers that his actions and the actions of others have the ability to bring joy or cause sorrow.

The girls and I talked about the notion that our school has a collective bucket that hangs invisibly over our classrooms, our chapel, our hallways, our dining hall – anywhere we come together as a community. Each of us, with our individual buckets, contributes to the collective. Each of us has the ability to add to a school-wide bucket filled with warmth, generosity, kindness, and a positive spirit.   But each of us can also deplete the goodness in our shared bucket through unkind remarks, eye rolls, excluding others, or sideways glances – the subtle and not-so-subtle things that can happen in any school but that foster negativity wherever they occur.

We are working diligently and intentionally as a community of learners to understand how individual actions contribute to the creation of a collective ethos. We are learning that we all bear responsibility for the culture inside our Castle walls. If we want to surround ourselves with joy and friendship, if we want to feel a sense of safety and belonging, if we want our school to have incredible spirit, then we must each contribute those things through our day-to-day actions. When feeling down, or frustrated, or angry, we must learn to pause, reflect, and resist the impulse to throw that negativity back into our shared space. If we don’t, then we deplete not only our bucket but also the greater bucket that is Trafalgar.

When we return from the holidays, let’s greet the New Year with our buckets filled with joy, optimism, and enthusiasm. Little by little, drop by drop, we can fill our shared bucket with the same, ensuring that our school community remains a positive force in the lives of each and every member of the Trafalgar family.

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