When I was younger, my mom and dad used to regularly tell me to sit up straight. Posture seemed to matter a lot to my parents. Posture is “the position or bearing of the body” or “a conscious mental or outward behavioural attitude.”
While I didn’t understand why posture was a big deal to my parents at the time, because of my their influence, I have tried to stand straight, square my shoulders and present myself with good posture throughout my life. My parents believed that good posture helped me portray a message without speaking.
Over the last few months, our leadership team has been working with a strategic theme of ‘Belonging’ for our school community. We are working on this as a foundation for the whole year, and there will be a number of specific things that we will be doing to weave ‘Belonging’ into the fabric of our community.
At the opening assembly, I talked to the students about our posture. I talked about how our body language communicates how we think and feel. Our posture can include or exclude others and their perspectives very quickly. Our posture tells others how we really feel about them, or how we really feel about what they do and say–even if our words suggest otherwise.
I invited our students to consider their posture when they are confronted with someone who thinks differently than they do. I asked the students to think in particular about hands, about the difference between a fist and an open hand. A fist is closed. It is unwelcoming. It can do damage. But an open hand can be extended to shake another hand, to high five, to receive a blessing. A fist pushes away. An open hand is an invitation.
And so, I want to remind all of us that as we work to make everyone feel like they belong at HDCH, we need to have a posture of openness and blessing. My mom and dad were right: posture matters. We can help others belong without saying a word.
See you around,