Looking into the Face of Others
This year, once again, the senior students looked forward to and seemed to enjoy, their overnight retreats at Tirohanga. I am currently surveying the students to find out in more detail what they enjoyed, what they would like more or less of and what they got out of the time away. An initial glance at the first few classes’ responses indicates many felt that the most valuable aspect was spending time with those they knew and getting to know those they didn’t. Interestingly, there were also requests to have less time with electronic devices.
School retreats are time out from the pressures of ordinary life to reflect on how things are going…with ourselves, with God and with others. Essentially, we hold a mirror to ourselves, look at God and look at each other. Careful listening is also part of the experience.
The idea of the importance of spending time with people and actually looking into their faces was also discussed at the recent Dominican Schools conference in Melbourne that had the theme Truth Searching. To be able to even start to empathise with others, to see the truth of things and to love, we need to see them. Have a look at the following youtube clip and you’ll get the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By_BHbskg_E
It is a difficult battle to lift our heads away from screens and as I have just illustrated, they are useful! However, when it comes to developing hearts and souls, we need to keep working on it.