Posted on: Thursday 26 July 2018
Posted in: Videos and Conversations
You are Priceless
Last week our Middle School and Senior School girls began our Term with a visit from John Coutis. John’s message is a powerful one, as he embraces life wanting to be defined for what he can do, rather than what he cannot do. His message is delivered with authenticity and humour and the girls learnt a great deal from his wisdom.
Here is a short excerpt from his book: “From the Ground Up”:
“Everyone is born with a disability. The difference with my disability is that you can see it.
You must be positive about life. Change what you don’t want in your life. Take advantage of what’s right. Enjoy the struggle. Love the people around you and enjoy their love for you. Love life.
If I can, you can.”
As our girls listened to John’s story it occurred to me that there are so many details in his journey that are foreign to their experience. He has struggled with severe physical constraints, he has faced life-threatening cruelty from others and lives each day with challenges that are not faced by most people. And yet there is so much in his story that connects with our girls. He spoke with them about the importance of goals, of how to find strength in difficult times, the importance of treating other people as you want to be treated and, most importantly, why we should tell our friends and family that we love them.
“If you turn your back on a challenge, then it becomes a problem. It is easier to deal with a challenge rather than a problem.”
I am sure there will be challenges ahead within our community this Term. I hope we will learn from John and embrace them as challenges and refuse to allow them to become problems.
John left our girls with the message that they are priceless. This reminds me of the beautiful words of Psalm 139:13-14:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
It was a privilege to hear from John, to smile as he spoke of how handsome he is, to be inspired by his resilience and to remember that each of us, in our own uniqueness, is priceless.
Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds