In the days following the attacks in Christchurch, members of our Senior Council wanted to show their support to the victims and members of the community affected by the terror.
Service Captain, Xanthe Allen (Year 12) spoke at the Senior School Assembly on Tuesday this week and delivered a heartfelt speech on behalf of our student leaders. We are grateful to be able to reproduce Xanthe’s speech below.
When I was asked to write this speech, I had no idea what I wanted to say.
What happened on Friday was, horrifying. I do know one thing to say though. It’s that we always have a choice. We always have a choice to love.
Year 7s - you have just under six years left here at CGGS, and Year 12, we only have another eight months left. And while all the things we learn here, the friendships we build and the mistakes we make will help us navigate all the problems of the world that will one day become the responsibility of our generation, for now, with our eight months or our six years left, the best way forward is to be kind and gentle to one another, every single day.
Being gentle doesn’t mean being timid or shying away from the truth. Being gentle is to respond intellectually to the overwhelming amount of hate and anger we see in the news and on the internet.
And ladies, someday you will be faced with a bump. Where you choose to compare yourself to another person. Instead, choose to love that person and to love yourself too. Because you see, you can never compare yourself to another human being because we are all different. Every single one of us is unique in our own way. We are all like snowflakes; each, and every single flake is fallen from the sky different. So, instead of choosing to compare our differences, let us choose to love our uniqueness.
And if we do that, you do that, I do that – then I think the future is looking simply splendid.
On Harmony Day we are presented the perfect opportunity to be kind, and to be gentle. This is a day when our differences in culture and religion are not only celebrated, but brought together by our common humanity.
There is a famous quote, from the bestselling book Wonder, by RJ Palacio: “If ever given the choice between being right and being kind; always choose kind.” And this is really what we, what I would like to urge you to follow.
Each day, we are given choices, choices that we get to make. Let us respect these choices, for they are a blessing.
Thank you to Ailin He, Nithya Matthew and Shriya Bellamkonda-Vaka for their help with editing.
Photo above: Xanthe (centre) on the first day of the School year