by Andrew Constable

Brotherhood - Sargood House Chapel Service Sermon

Brotherhood - if you google this word, the results will say: “An association or community of people linked by a common interest”. However, the word means so much more than that set of eleven words. To us in Sargood, this word is the backbone of our community.

We treat this word with great respect and when it is said, it is not treated lightly. There is a sense of mana to the word. We believe that there are four key components to Brotherhood: kindness, integrity, accountability for your actions, and having each other's backs. Even though in the past the word Brotherhood may have meant something different in our House, we have decided to make a change, and there is no better way to talk about it than in a chapel sermon.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” - The 14th Dalai Lama. Kindness is one of, if not the most important, values in the four cornerstones of Brotherhood. As a House we strive to be kind to anyone and everyone that we interact with. Just a smile can mean the world to people or as we heard in this very room on Thursday morning, being kind to a stranger may change their lives forever. As Mark Twain said, “Kindness makes the world go round” and it truly does. Just by wearing the colour pink on Thursday and putting a few bucks into that bucket helped people all around our country. Just remember a smile and a wave can go a long way to making someone's life great. Cornerstone One: A smile goes a long way.

As C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody's watching.” Integrity is another key pillar of Brotherhood. The quote by C.S. Lewis really sums up the meaning of integrity. We should all show integrity, whether it is in the classroom when your teacher has walked out to grab something or when you and your mates are in the dorm. We should be doing the right thing. I'm not saying that we can’t have fun, but we need to do the right thing especially when no one is watching or when it is an important time. A great example of the word integrity is when two Sargood Year 11 boys, Brad and Hunter, saw that Mrs Clarke was under pressure at the tuck shop so they decided to go and help her out by taking other students orders. These boys displayed what integrity truly means and helped other people in our community out. Cornerstone Two: Do the right thing.

Having someone's back is huge when you are in a large community like we are. It is a crucial part of Brotherhood and it helps when we can rely on each other to help people out through the hard times and we should be able to do the same for them. As many of you will know, early this year, a boy from Matamata tragically lost his life. Multiple boys from Sargood and the entire school community were greatly affected by this loss. However, everyone stepped up and helped out those affected. Five days after this incident, New Zealand experienced its first ever major terror attack. Yet again, as a community, we stepped up to the mark and helped our countries Muslim community by collecting money for the victims of the attacks and people going down to the mosque down the road to show their support of the victims whose lives were lost in this tragic event. Over these two times we showed the true meaning of Brotherhood and had each other’s back. Cornerstone Three: Have someone's back.

At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves - our success is a result of what we do. We need to be accountable in not only the bad times when we make mistakes, but also the good times when we do good in our community. As a Brotherhood, we need to own our actions. If a group or community does something good, they should own it and be proud of what they do. However, they also have to own what they have done when the group stuffs up, people involved need to own up for their actions and take their consequences for their actions on the chin. An example of this would be when Jake Alloway won the NZ under 16 Speed water skiing champs - he is accountable for this by owning this title like the true champion he is, he still wears the event hoodie even to this day. On the other side of the spectrum a once Year 12 boy named Harry Coxhead smashed a window whilst trying to show off his soccer skills. But he was accountable for his actions and owned up to it straight away. Cornerstone Four: Own what you do. 

Brotherhood - Sargood House Chapel Service Sermon by Sam Cox