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Greetings HMS Parents~

From the office of the principal: Society VS Community: Which are you?

A June 2006 Washington Post article reported the following: “Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide . . . A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985.”

Lynn Smith-Lovin, a Duke University sociologist who helped conduct the study, noted that people may have 600 friends on Facebook and email 25 people a day, but rarely discuss matters of personal importance. It used to be that people went to a restaurant for food, fellowship, and good conversation. Go now and look around the room. Many of the patrons are not talking to the people at their table, but instead have their nose stuck in their cell phone, reading texts or two thumbs furiously texting others.

Somewhere along the way, Western culture has lost the desire for community and has settled for society. Society speaks to our ability to organize ourselves as a group of people. Community speaks to our ability to connect with one another. Society refers to structures and systems/policies and procedures. Community refers to relationships. Western culture must learn that a stronger society does not necessarily produce a stronger community. The tiny word Our forms a bridge between the you and me of society because it speaks of shared experiences, shared ownership—it speaks of community.

As the school, every time we use the word Our, we assert our commitment to remain together. We recognize the importance of community and its impact on our school formation. Our is the language of inclusion. Our binds us together in a common belief. It forces me to consider us and remember that despite all the differences that tend to separate us, we must work together.

So the questions are: What part of Our, are you and what part of Our do you want for our school?

Have a great day!

Tina Salmans

HMS Principal