Dear TCS Families:
I’m drawn to stories. Some of my favorite childhood memories growing up in Bombay include reading books in the late afternoon once I had finished my homework, or watching a newly released movie in the cinema on Friday evenings with my family. Even today, books and movies occupy a significant part of my daily and weekly habits. I still read every night before going to bed, and Neeti and I will try and watch at least one movie in the theatre on Friday or Saturday evening, and one at home on Sunday night. Stories inspire me. Stories help me make sense of my thoughts and feelings and bring order to the world within and the world outside.
I have watched the movie “Finding Neverland” a few times. Starring Johnny Depp as the author, J.M. Barrie, “Finding Neverland” tells the story behind the family that inspired “Peter Pan,” and the child that never grows up. I love this movie for its central themes: the innocence that can bring happiness to the unhappy, create magic for those who have forgotten to imagine, unleash the healing powers of family, and restore one’s faith in children and childhood. Faith.
The 19th-century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, wrote in his treatise “Fear and Trembling” that “faith is absurd.” Unlike Kierkegaard, I look all around me on our campus this week, and I see faith, not as an absurdity but as wholly rational, even necessary and comfortable. It feels right to me. I see Peter Pans walking through the gates each morning. When talking about summer, I hear stories of inspiration; perseverance; joy and happiness; hope and resilience; and of family, friends, and colleagues that love and support one another. I hear children’s voices, their laughter too; and I see their smiles and their hugs upon seeing one another after a long stretch. Olivia, a new student, shared her favorite color with me: rainbow. Why choose one when you can see all seven as one unifying color? In all of us, I see a vision of childhood that cannot be stopped.
As the leader of this community, I rely on faith more than you might think. I’m dependent on each of you to help me, and help each other, continue this vision. Stories, real and imagined, in books, movies, and in our classrooms and on our campus, restore and reinforce my faith in you, yours, and ours. I believe because you do; I am because we are.
A new year is upon us. With the launch of many new initiatives and the continuation of those started before, this year will bring to fruition the bold vision and the courage to innovate that defines The Children’s School.
May our children never grow up, and may we always learn from them. I have faith.
For the children,
Nishant N. Mehta
Head of School