So many books have been written about the concept of “self”. They typically explore the need to identify one’s self and explain how this knowledge will clarify necessary boundaries going forward, promising a life of happiness.

I encourage every educational leader, to identify his/her core values as aschool administrator. In my case, I chose three words: Eucharist, Truth and Joy.

The Eucharist – as it is the “Source and Summit”.

Discovering Truth – is the purpose of education.

Joy – For years I studied the writings of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, creator of the Suzuki Talent Education. As a teen, he fell in love with the violin and left Japan to pursue studies in Germany. While he never became a great violinist, he did meet a German girl. He married her. Together, they returned to Japan, and were there throughout WWII. (One can only imagine how hard an inter-racial marriage was at that time and in that place.) Nevertheless, they survived the war and made it their mission to help others during the rebuilding process, especially young children. They felt a strong compassion especially for the little toddlers left in the streets with only war-torn rubble around them, most of all because they seemed to have nothing in their surroundings, or even people, that radiated joy.

They decided that their mission was to help these children create “joy” for themselves. Hence, Dr. Suzuki is world-famous for having established a violin program for children as young as 3 years of age.

For me, seeing children “own” their violins and confidently perform beautiful music that connects the souls of all within hearing is one of life’s greatest joys! Thank you, Dr. Suzuki!

Rather than limiting, I have found that having a core set of values has enabled me to freely make decisions that are more likely to be consistent and aligned with the mission of the school.

Today’s goal: Lord, what core values would you have me animate in the community you have entrusted to me?