夏休み前全校集会校長講話 2019年7月24日
Principal's Address at the School Assembly Before the Summer Break July, 24th, 2019

       Good afternoon, everyone. The long-awaited summer vacation starts tomorrow. I hope you’ll have a fruitful and meaningful time during the coming summer holiday to help you become the best version of yourself. 
       When I participated in the IB World Conference held in Hong Kong last March, one of the key-note speakers, Jamie Chiu, a clinical psychologist, spoke about stress. She discussed one interesting and understandable example that causes stress. According to her, if a monkey has a banana, other monkeys are envious of it, so it causes stress for the monkeys with no bananas. This is like comparing yourself to others who are better than you and may cause you stress. Basically, a monkey knows only other monkeys in its group. It is usually a very small community. Even for us humans, several decades ago, almost everyone lived in a small community.
       However, these days, the use of internet grows, we can connect and know a lot about countless numbers of people anywhere. That is why we tend to compare ourselves to almost a limitless number of people in the world. It makes our lives stressful. If we continue comparing, our stress grows infinitely.
       I think the root of the problem is the habit of comparing. In a sense, comparing oneself is the cause of stress, such as comparing yourself with siblings, friends, comparing your present self from the one in the past. Unless we stop comparing, we will be forever annoyed with an envious state of mind. Everyone has their own situation in life. No two individuals live in the same conditions. Family conditions, physical conditions, mental conditions. Skills and abilities we have. Troubles and trials we face. Everything that surrounds us is different.
       Don’t you think it is absolutely silly to compare yourself with others? It’s meaningless to compare the speed and time of runners who are running on different roads.  We are all living different destinies.
       What important here is to accept everything that is given to us and make the best out of them to change and improve ourselves. Instead of comparing, I would really like you to reflect on your journey, see the path you are walking on, the direction you are going, and do your best to reach your goal at the end. Thank you for listening. Have a nice holiday!