Message from the Principal
Heritage School Principal ~ Kathleen E. Pastore
Heritage School, 34 Oxford Road, Charlton, MA 01507
508-248-4884 508-248-1109 (fax)
May 26, 2020
Dear Heritage School Families,
As we close out the month of May, it has been more than 10 weeks of being away from the daily structure of our “normal” lives. Schools have been closed, businesses shuttered, and work schedules disrupted, halted or ceased. The economy has responded in a disturbing downward spiral, and the sudden, immediate worry of us or a family member becoming ill, has been replaced with a less insistent, but looming sense of dread as to what is on the horizon. What will school look like when we return, how will businesses and citizens financially recover from this upheaval, and when will we be able to resume some of the activities that filled our lives prior to mid-March of 2020? After more than two months of being unable to do so many of the things that bring joy and balance to our lives, it is easy to feel depressed, dejected, and discouraged. Since there is no crystal ball as to when our collective worries will be eased, I have decided to follow the advice of happiness experts and focus on the aspects of this shutdown that bring me a sense of gratitude.
Authors of The Two Most Important Days, Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild, relay “There is no stronger antidote to experiences that threaten to break us than to reach for gratitude.” David Steindl-Rast, a gratitude expert, notes that two things need to be present for real gratitude. The thing we are experiencing must be valuable to us, and it must be a real “gift.” It cannot come from something we purchased, nor something we had to work for, but something that in its essence causes us to pause and be thankful for its existence. This pandemic has forced us all, whether we wanted to or not, to slow our lives down in some way. Things that may have been missed in an earlier time, are brought to light in a new way when we have time to appreciate them more fully and from a less harried perspective. The sun after a rainy spell, the laughter of a child, and a family meal enjoyed without someone having to hurry through to get “somewhere,” are all instances I have taken time to acknowledge with a new sense of gratitude. These are the moments on which I am trying to focus.
Experts say that we can increase our happiness, even during the most difficult times, if gratitude becomes a daily habit. They suggest starting or ending the day by writing down 3-5 moments or “things” that occur within the course of the day for which we are truly grateful. They also encourage taking the time to tell our co-workers and family members how grateful we are to them for the joy and meaning they bring to our lives. If we take the time to notice and note these moments with more regularity, they will certainly help us balance the “not so pleasant” experiences that are easy enough to find by just tuning in to local and world headlines.
Thank you for all of the moments that your children have brought to us over this past school year. They are a constant source of daily gratitude.
Stay healthy, keep smiling and hug your children for me,
Mrs. Pastore and the Heritage School Staff