Heritage House Location Grand Opening Address – May 24, 2003
Well, look what we did together! We are so excited to finally open the Heritage House doors to our Roots community, to begin the next phase our journey.
It’s no secret the world is in a challenging place. The media appeal to our emotions, creating fear and confusion, and many are overwhelmed at the current state of our planet.
But there’s a quiet revolution going on; it’s not coming from government leaders, and certainly not from the giant corporations that control so much of our lives. It’s a grassroots revolution, a swelling of high intentions, righteous people determined to overcome the errors of our world with good. Like flowers turning to the light, humanity is gradually turning to higher ethics, purer motives, more constructive activity, greater freedom of soul rather than indulgence of the senses.
What’s the answer to pollution and environmental destruction? Purity, innocence, compassion, sacrifice, unselfishness. What’s the answer to disease? Trust, the transmission of love and caring, rather than fear and negativity. What are the qualities that bring us through challenging times? They’re the qualities of patience, perseverance, dedication and trust; of joy, innocence, gratitude.
We’ve seen all these expressed over the past few months in the many individuals who have contributed to the success of our mission. Everyone, from the contractors, planners and developers to the faculty, board members, children and parents have drawn on their highest ethics to work towards our success. This success has without question depended on joint efforts. A visiting Montessorian described our school as a living organism. I’m in awe as I watch this organism functioning, this symphony of beautiful people all working together for our cause.
The success of our world depends on nothing less. The grassroots symphony of right endeavour will transform society and bring all people together in peace and harmony.
Our Children are the Future!
Most of you have heard me quote Gandhi: “If we want real peace, we shall have to start with the children.”
Our children hold the promise for a better world So it’s our purpose, our solemn, crucial purpose, to provide an atmosphere for our children in which they can discover the truths about themselves that will turn our world around. Each one of them has an individual gift to give. It’s our task to help them find their gift and to enable them to give it to their world.
So why are we here? Why have we spent five years of labour, of sometimes agonizing effort, of prayer, of diligence and dedication to bring us here? Because we see the possibilities here of bringing out these qualities through connection with nature, connection with wild spaces and animals and agriculture, connection with their own highest selfhood.
Our children need a place to play free, as we grew up – free from fear, from fences and locks and bars that cast shadows over children’s souls.
We’re not perfect, we haven’t fully arrived yet, we’re not doing all we wish, yet, to really provide the ideal environment in which our children can flourish:
- We’re looking forward to breaking down the fences and running free.
- We want to settle into more time to connect with and really listen to our children; We want to satisfy our eternal quest for order.
- We want to improve the children’s environment to provide every opportunity possible to satisfy their urge to learn and contribute to their growth.
- And we’re looking forward to being able to serve more children, to allow more people to benefit from what we have here.
My children vow they’ll never work as hard as I have had to, with so little gain; many tell me to have a more balanced life, to look after myself more. But can we afford to rest while children are growing up in our beleaguered world? As we “look after ourselves”, we require 10 acres of land each to sustain our current lifestyle; and with 6 billion people on the planet, for everyone to have an equal lifestyle would require 60 billion acres; but the earth has only 21.6 billion acres of land. We can’t afford to look after ourselves, while children are dying of hunger, while the protective ozone is being destroyed, while corporate villainy and exploitation are oppressing millions. We need to change this imbalance that breeds terrorism – and we can!
The answer is in front of you. There is no other solution. We can’t blame the government or other countries. We have to start right here, in our own back yards.
Aren’t we fortunate that we have the opportunity to make a difference?!
And what will happen when it’s recognized that the education of children is of first importance? Imagine a world in which:
- education receives funding and the army has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.
- it doesn’t take two years to find a place for our children in the community.
- we don’t have to fight reams of red tape to be allowed to differ from the norm.
- we’re trusted to do what we know and have proven is best for our children, instead of being regulated by impersonal and irrelevant rules and bylaws or insurance companies.
Our children need to be free to lie on the ground and watch a beetle, without anyone looking over their shoulders or teaching the names of its parts for their next test. They need to be able to lie on their backs and dream with the clouds, without fearing that a bit of rain will make them sick. They need to dance in the wind for the joy of moving, without having to be driven to lessons first. They need to climb trees and hug bunnies and collect eggs and gaze at llamas, recognizing that all the good they appreciate is also a part of them, that they are the most beautiful creations of nature, a symbiotic part of one grand whole.
When they are free to do this – when thousands of children can have this experience – they will go forth to uplift collective human thought.
Many already seeing this. In every walk of life you find people thinking deeply and coming to the same conclusions.
- We see a trend towards more ethical business practices.
- There are now thousands of environmental projects, all over the world.
- Many are newly recognizing that health involves more than just the physical body.
- People are turning to spirituality for satisfaction, rather than drink or drugs or shopping or – well, you fill in the rest.
I’m grateful that so many of these light beings are connecting with Roots and Wings. And I’m absolutely sure that as all this goodness enters our thought and world thought, we will grow into a whole new view of who we are and of the amazing place in which we live.
I can’t put in words what it means to me to have so many of you here to celebrate with us today to open our Heritage House doors. I thank each one of you for coming and joining us in helping to realize this dream.
- Kristin Marples Cassie – Principal and Founder, Roots & Wings Montessori School