A father asked his son whether he would join him on a trip to visit a village in a very poor country area. The son was keen to join his father to learn as much as he could. They set out for the village and met a beautiful family who welcomed them and took them in for a week. On their way home from their trip to the village the father asked the son what he had learnt from the experience. The son replied that at home he had 1 dog and the family from the village had 4 dogs, at home he had a large swimming pool and at the village the family had a river, at home he said we bought groceries and vegetables and at the village the family grew their own food. At home he said we enjoyed electricity to power our lights and devices and at the village they enjoyed the stars. The father said so what did you conclude from that and the son replied that he realised how poor he was.

The moral of this story is about what we mean by poverty. In this case the son realised that poverty is not about economic wealth or possessions or physical circumstances but rather a context of life and what you make of it. What is important are the values that are implicit in the circumstance. Simplicity of life, love of work, family values, presence to people, humility in circumstance, modesty in our lives, these are foundational in being Marist and living life which is rich and full. The perfect example of the family in the village.

Over the last week we enjoyed the Art show, the Music night and the Sports presentation, highlighting the amazing talents and gifts of our students, the dedicated staff and their commitment to provide these extensive opportunities for our students and the gratitude shown by our students for being part of life at Cardijn.

We are indeed rich in our lives and grateful for our Cardijn community.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic secondary co-educational school (7-12) in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 1120 students and 140 staff. Marcellin is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 10 to 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 155 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.


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