One of Collegiate's Core Values for this quarter is gratitude, and it is no accident that this Core Value coincides with a holiday season that celebrates thankfulness. I have always believed that gratitude stems from grace and leads to generosity, but I only recently learned that some languages reveal the relationship between grace and gratitude. Gracia is Latin for grace. So when our Spanish-speaking scholars thank us, and each other, by saying Gracias! the concept of God’s goodness spills over into the word.
While gratefulness is a reaction to a particular action or situation, gratitude is a deep-seated awareness that you are here by the grace of God and because of His mercy. So you act from a place of thankfulness for all He has done for you.
I see this grace and gratitude displayed daily on our campus. In the grace shown by colleagues as they wait patiently for all one hundred fifty of those abandoned packets to print; in the grace of the cafeteria staff as they wait patiently while we mull over the choices and then select the same thing for breakfast every morning; and in the grace we model as we pray over our students, mentioning those things that matter most to them. I then see that grace mirrored in the gratitude of our colleagues giving encouragement in the form of shout-outs to another faculty member who may have completed a huge task for the good of the whole or in something as simple as giving someone a piece of chocolate during a mid-day slump. I see this gratitude displayed in our staff who serve everyone in the building with just the right tool to fix the problem or the forgotten password to log in to your computer (or gradebook), and this assistance is always given with a smile and a “you're welcome.” I also see this gratitude in our scholars when they receive a reprieve on a difficult lesson in the form of a second or third review instead of a graded exam. And in their youthful giggles when they are surprised or caught off guard by a new fact and unrestrained laughter bubbles up and over and out of them.
All of this grace and gratitude is then displayed throughout our campus in the generosity we show daily to one another: we share our time, we teach to our talents, and we believe in the task set before us. God has indeed given every person the potential to work, to learn, to grow, and to serve, and we are a living testament of the grace that we have received, the gratitude that we live, and the generosity that spills forth to others.
At Collegiate, we believe.