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Term 3 2015 - Joseph Dresnan

This term our core values are perseverance and diligence. As a staff we are trying to develop this in our students as it is one of the most effective values we can develop in ourselves and not always something New Zealanders are good at. In the last edition of the newsletter I told you the incredible story of William Wilberforce and what perseverance did for him. This week I want to share about a story I heard while attending a principal's meeting some years ago led by a man, Joseph Dresnan, who is an expert in boys learning:

Mr Dresnan started his seminar by showing us a photograph of the recent graduates of medical doctors in New Zealand. It was a revealing photograph, not because of the number of graduates, but rather the type of people that were in it. Most of those in the shot were women and nearly every single one was Asian! This of course inspired all in the room to ask why. Most stereotyped the situation and said that Asians are usually brighter than most New Zealanders. Well now is the time for me to point out some home truths about our cultures. Mr Dresnan was very quick to point out to us that the average IQ of a New Zealander is on average higher than that of many other cultures including Asian ones! Wow that's an eye opener isn't it? The main difference between us is in what we value in our work ethic and in our perseverance. Asian cultures particularly value education and working hard. Their children may have difficulties in their school work just as any other average New Zealand child does, but there is a fundamental difference that has been observed – the average Kiwi child is often quick to give up, say it's too hard and lose interest. By comparison an Asian child who has been coached by their parents to deeply value school will develop an attitude of, "Yes this is too hard but I am going to stick at it until I get it." The usual result is that they do get there. It takes hard work and a lot of perseverance, but they get there.

Perseverance and diligence is something to be valued. It is something that can make an enormous difference in our lives. Many times I have watched very talented students go through to College with high academic achievement and a stunning future ahead of them only to see them settle for second best before the end. Instead of becoming thepaediatrician they once wanted to be and were capable of, they settle for another lesser career because it just seemed like it was going to be too hard work. Now imagine if George, the son of a black slave in the story I told you about a number of weeks ago had settled for second best. There is no way he would have become the first black American Supreme Court judge would he? Nor would Abraham Lincoln have become the 16th President of the United States, or William Wilberforce have caused the abolition of slavery. Do you remember what you once aspired to be when you were young? Are you there yet? Many of you will be and even further but some may not be. We all get pretty much one chance at this. Make sure you help inspire your children now to work hard to persevere at what counts even if it seems difficult. Inspire them to be diligent enough to seek God's will in their lives and to develop the gifts He has given them. It will be worth it in the end.

God bless

Alistair Paterson


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