A message from Head of School O.J. Morgan

Just yesterday morning I had the great pleasure of reading a book to Mr. Greene’s class of excitable kindergartners. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Mr. Greene had picked out a story about a nervous turkey’s understandable quest to avoid becoming the main dish on Thanksgiving Day. To our relief, this particular turkey’s fervent imagination led to his escaping the fate of his many cousins and enjoying turkey freedom for yet another year.

As I remind all of our students every year, of course, Thanksgiving is about so much more than what we are planning to eat. The act of expressing thanks is actually one of the most profound signs of a child’s moral development, indicating a heightened awareness of a child’s relationship to another human being as well as an acknowledgment of the benefits resulting from that relationship. It shows that a child has come to realize that sharing of what one possesses with another is essentially good and healthy.

I also remind them that expressing thanks can go far beyond their words. When a child begins to understand that thankful actions signal an even deeper appreciation of what one has received, then that child has taken an even bigger developmental step. When a child takes the time to write a note of thanks or give a gift of thanks, it’s an indication that his or her feelings of thankfulness actually mean something. Words are often easy, but actions take time, thought, and intentionality. Every time I receive a letter from a student via our school’s post office (operated by our 3rd graders), I’m moved by its sincerity. Spelling “headmaster” correctly is obviously a monumental struggle for our younger ones. But I’m grateful, and I always write them back.

As our children depart for their Thanksgiving break, I’ll remind them, much to their chagrin, that one way they can show thanks to their parents over the holidays is to help out around the house, offer to do a chore, make a bed, feed a pet, and generally be of service to those who never take a vacation from life. Over time, I think our students begin to understand the meaningfulness of such actions. My hope is that this realization will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

I wish all of you a wonderful time with your families, and I thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us at Bright School.