Dear Maine Coast Waldorf Community,
This past week marked the end of one of the most divisive and deeply troubling presidential elections in our recent history. No matter whom you have voted for, the violent rhetoric, the effort to divide and separate along ethnic, religious, socio-economic and racial lines, and the complete lack of honest and respectful human discourse has left a nation in grief and despair.
In a school such as ours, that fosters empathy, honors differences and strives to preserve in our students spiritual openness, we are challenged as educators and parents to find the balance between respecting the results of our democratic process, and actively engaging in the defense of the rights and values of all people to be treated with dignity.
Our Mission Statement calls, “to awaken the highest potential in every student by fostering clarity of thought, warmth of heart, and strength of resolve to make a difference in the world.” In pursuit of that mission, we “honor each student’s unfolding individuality,” and “preserve spiritual openness that will enable them to develop creative, independent thinking…and a deep sense of responsibility toward the world.”
The responsibility and privilege of working in a school built on these values challenges all of us to find new ways to engage our community in healthy discourse. We all must work to find solutions to world problems and inspire the present and, most especially, the future leaders of our country to understand each other, value our differences, and embrace the future with optimism.
On Veterans Day, our faculty met for a “professional day” of meetings and conversation. In our planning two weeks ago, the Leadership Council had decided to honor peace and the sacrifice of our veterans, by having a meditative walk to the Kindergarten woods, where we would gather to hear prayers in many languages, French, German, Finnish, Spanish, Hungarian, Hebrew and the Islamic call to Prayer in Arabic. We had planned to sing “Finlandia” and create a mood of transformation and healing in our world. Little did we know how much we would all need this support and sharing among colleagues on November 11.
In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to foster open dialogue with our students in classes and to create a community of strength, peace and security with our families. We will listen with our Board on Tuesday night to the voice of the community, and seek more ways to build together a healthy vision for the future.
This verse from Rudolf Steiner was recently discovered by the son and daughter of Trauger Groh, a highly respected Biodynamic Farmer and Anthroposophist who died this summer at the age of 83. Trauger was a guiding light to many of us who had the opportunity to read his work or work by his side. We hope that it will bring some comfort and hope to your hearts.
On behalf of the Faculty and Staff at Maine Coast Waldorf School,
Whatever may come, whatever may happen,
even if I do not know it, I cannot change it through fear.
I wait for it in total quietness of soul,
in complete stillness of the soul, like the stillness of the sea.
With angst and fear we hinder our development.
Through the waves of angst and fear we rebuke
what wants to come to us in our souls out of the future.
Trust in what we call the divine wisdom, in all that happens.
The certainty that all that will come has to come,
and that it will have good results in some way.
To create this mood in words, in feelings, in ideas,
is the mood of trust that should become our prayer.
This is what we have to learn in the present:
To live in pure trust,
without life security,
with trust in the permanent help from the spiritual world.
Truly there is no other way today,
if we shall not lose all courage.
We have to call on our will and on the inner wakefulness,
every morning and every evening.
– Rudolf Steiner