Preparing Students to Influence their World with Integrity
In a world where reality television programs, YouTube, Facebook and other like social media avenues give people a readymade audience, and a hunger for recognition it is easy to think that we are all going to have our moment of ‘fame’. Clearly, it doesn’t have to be fame for a significant achievement or contribution to the greater good of society or even lasting. In fact, very few people achieve the sort of fame where they become a household name for generations. Yet, there seems to be an ever increasing need and expectation that my 'specialness' will be acknowledged by the world.
It isn’t that Fame is bad or undesirable; it just isn’t going to be most people’s reality. I would suggest that many, if not most enduringly famous people, (except maybe Movie Stars) didn’t set out to be famous; rather they set out in the whole hearted pursuit of a passion: a desire to discover, to serve, to enact social change; to do what has never been done before or simply to make something the best it can be. Fame is actually the by-product of their endeavour not the intended outcome.
There are several ‘famous’ bible people. The stories of these people are known extensively within Christian circles. For a small handful, their fame reaches beyond the church: children’s books and movies have even been made telling their stories. Yet, there are countless other people who, sometimes not even by name, are mentioned in the bible. Why? Because by living their lives with integrity, open to God’s purposes, and boldly stepping out when needed, they influenced and changed people’s lives and the outcomes of significant events. Their ‘fame’ was not known in their time, possibly not even beyond those they influenced, but God knew them. He was aware of what was in their heart and knew exactly how they, by living out their part, would impact generations to come.
We hope when fame comes to some of our students, that it is the by-product of their passionate pursuit of what God has created them for; that their integrity and character position them to use the greater platform for God’s glory and the benefit of others. For all our students we hope that they have been equipped to live out their lives passionately with a strong foundation of integrity that will position them to change the world they live in – for the better.
However, our children don’t have to wait until they are adults, or have a world stage to influence their world with integrity. It begins today. Actions and attitude born out of integrity may not be seen by others, or receive due recognition but they will have enduring influence.