One of my most memorable experiences at The Heights occurred, surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly - because a student was acting up a bit. Because he couldn’t stop talking, I asked him to go sit in a quiet room in silence for 10 minutes. 5 minutes later he came back to me with an exasperated look on his face:
“Mr. Moynihan, sir, I could not take it any longer. It was just too quiet.”
I tell this story with a grin now when I talk with our students about the dangers of entertainment overload. But as Christmas approaches, I think it also demonstrates the need to cultivate a culture that not only can stand silence, but that even embraces it. Advent is a season of profound reflection and anticipation. As the priest’s purple vestments and our advent candles indicate, it’s also a type of penitential season. Silence is an appropriate and even necessary condition for these things to happen in any meaningful way. These last few days before Christmas are often quite busy with final preparations. I am sure that Mary and Joseph were approaching Bethlehem with great expectation and no small amount of toil. Nonetheless, I am also sure that they maintained a contemplative spirit in spite of the difficulties they faced. As Christmas nears, may we also find time to foster the interior silence necessary to deepen our contemplative spirit.
On behalf of The Heights faculty and staff, I wish you a Blessed Advent, Merry Christmas, and look forward to seeing all of you again in the new year!
Head of the Upper School