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2019 Prefect Jared Dixon

The Last Word

Jared Dixon —

As has been the case with many of the prefects this year, I struggled to come up with a topic for this speech.

I sat down last Tuesday to begin writing and nothing came to mind. Last Wednesday, again, nothing. Last Thursday, yet another mind blank. It seemed the only 3 pathetic words I had to offer were, “good morning boys”. And if I’m honest, I had no one to blame but myself. Family, friends, classmates and teachers all contributed great ideas, but I was too arrogant to listen. Too arrogant to hear what they were trying to tell me and too arrogant to use their ideas, because they were not MY ideas.

This realisation dawned on me during 5th period on Friday, having only an hour to whip up this speech. It was too late then to ask for help. That ship had sailed, and I found myself asking, “Why didn’t I just listen?” Had I listened, I could have had this speech written by Wednesday. I could have gone on that mates’ trip that we had planned for the long weekend. But most importantly, I could have been proud and prepared to tackle this speech today. Instead, I am a nervous wreck, as you can probably tell from the way I am shaking right now.

Our ears are funny things. Funny in the way that words can go in one ear, and straight out the other without us even knowing they were there. We often forget that there is a difference between listening and being silent and to actually listen which requires some processing of what is being said. Although it can be painful sometimes, it is a very important skill to have and be able to use in everyday life.

Sometimes, we like to think we know everything, when in actual fact we hardly know anything. We must learn to listen to those around us because at the end of the day, listening is learning. We learn by listening to our family members, our teachers and our brothers sitting beside us in this very room. So the next time you are thinking about plugging your headphones in and tuning out during that boring English period, I urge you to battle on for another 5, 10 or even 15 minutes. Give Miss or Sir a chance to help and listen to what they have to say now, because when exams roll around at the end of the year, it may already be too late. And remember this old proverb boys, “no one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.” 

Thank you.