Mr Richards' Words Lent week 3
There does seem to be a renewed sense of hope in this world. I know we are still at a very dangerous time in the pandemic, but we have seen some green shoots of optimism this week.
From the gloom of the 6 January riots came the bright light of Biden’s inauguration on 20 January. It was an absolute pleasure to see Biden’s leadership this week. True leaders are not heroes, true leaders create heroes. Biden’s hero who stole the show on Wednesday was Amanda Gorman. A 22-year-old ‘skinny black girl, descended from slaves’, stood up in front of the world and told us to ‘rise up’ and that we would emerge ‘battered but beautiful’. I found her rousing climax to the poem very moving and I totally agree that once we step out of the shade, ‘there is always light, but we have to be brave enough to see it and brave enough to be it’.
Amanda showed us that, in an age of YouTube clips and 24-hour rolling news, words matter. She had done her research into the great speeches in American history; she spent hours poring over calls for unity from icons such as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, but combined that with profound memes from Twitter. Amanda, like Joe Biden, suffered from a speech impediment. She had always struggled with the letter R but, with determination and support, she found her own way through her issues.
There will always be issues and there will always be disagreements and this week’s assembly focused on ways of respectfully disagreeing. I hope that while our confinement continues, our young people are able to put some of the tips we covered into action; stay calm, stay in listening mode and agree with others when they make a good point.