The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Fay Magazine: Summer 2019

Head's Notebook: Being Our Best Selves

by Rob Gustavson
A reflection on our upcoming schoolwide theme for 2019-2020
Last year’s school theme, Finding Meaning, prompted our students and faculty to consider the ways we seek and create meaning in our lives by making sense of experiences based on what matters most to each of us. It was an inward-looking theme, focused on reflection and interpretation, that served as a touchstone for thoughtful discussions about how we can gain a sense of purpose by recognizing our values and directing our efforts toward something larger than ourselves.
 
Building on this sense of purposeful action, next year’s theme is more outward-facing: Being Our Best Selves. In order to pursue meaningful lives, we need to know what we care about most; but self-knowledge is not enough. We must act with intention. When we strive to be our best selves, we envision the kinds of people we aspire to be and then live accordingly, adhering to our own personal code. We embody our values, holding ourselves to our own internal, self-determined standards. We live authentically, deliberately, and with integrity.
 
Of course, each of us is flawed, and we all fall short at times. Thus, continuously striving for personal excellence also requires a willingness to accept feedback, self-assess, and reflect on our actions in relation to how we view ourselves and the kinds of people we hope to become. This is as true for institutions as it is for individuals, which makes Being Our Best Selves a fitting theme for a year when Fay will undertake a comprehensive self-study process in preparation for our decennial accreditation by the Association of Independent Schools in New England.
 
External benchmarks can serve as useful points of reference, but only when paired with a genuine, intrinsic desire to improve. We look forward to engaging in extended conversations throughout the coming year about ways, both individually and collectively, we might deepen our ongoing commitment to embodying our values, acting with intention, and being our best selves.
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