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Our Thought for the Term: Civic Spirit

Posted on: 22/04/2020

Message from Associate Head Girl, Izzy Langley: To keep myself meaningfully occupied during lockdown, I set myself the challenge to run a 10K. I am currently working at 8K and building each week; in these unique times, why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new? Comfort is often the enemy of progress!

A reading recommendation from Izzy: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – this has recently been released as a film too and I highly recommend it!​

Activity:

  • Please read the Thought for the Term on ‘Civic Spirit’
  • Spend five minutes listing five ways in which you have shown civic spirit in the past few weeks, or seen it being shown by others.
  • Once you have made your list ask your family and friends what civic spirit means to them and how they can have seen it over the past few weeks.

Civic Spirit

The past few weeks have undoubtedly felt unique for us all. There is no ‘behaviour template’ available to navigate us through these times and so we have to make it up as we go along. It’s worth adding that from what I can see, we are doing a remarkable job of this. 

In the last few days alone I have felt  a surge of pride and gratitude as the following unfolded: a beautiful orchid plant appeared at my door step (still not sure who did this but it cheered me up for hours); the police stopped us in Didcot to ensure that for our safety we were heading straight home after our shopping; our neighbourhood have set up a mutual support group to help the elderly and vulnerable; my children wrote a letter to our Prime Minister wishing him a speedy recovery and my husband has worked long hours at the hospital making sure patients are well cared for. I really could go on! When we come together as a society to be responsible, compassionate and neighbourly we demonstrate what is called ‘civic spirit’.

Civic Spirit is about doing the right thing but also about going above and beyond where possible, to ensure the country’s best interest. Moreover, it’s about doing all of this with enthusiasm and pride where possible. The Government tells us that when we beat this pandemic (and we will!) it will be the result of all our efforts. The NHS and our keyworkers are performing herculean tasks and leading the way when it comes to exercising civic spirit – when I watch NHS staff applauding with broad smiles and big hearts outside hospitals every Thursday evening, I know that if they can do what they do every day, I can certainly play a small part too!

I encourage you to have a little think about how you have shown civic spirit recently. Remember, history will show that you have played an important part in unprecedented times. This crisis will hopefully be behind us soon but the compassion, responsibility and good sense we have shown through it will always be remembered.

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