Year-end Reflection: Looking Backwards and Forwards

Year-end Reflection: Looking Backwards and Forwards

December 8, 2017

As we approach the end of another calendar year, some may heave a sigh of relief, others may entertain feelings of keen anticipation or even elation. With the passing of another Hong Kong summer and autumn, we welcome cooler, less humid weather. Air-conditioners fall strangely silent. Some members of the community feel the need to wear duck-down filled apparel more commonly seen in the snowbound northern latitudes of Europe, Asia, or North America. With holidays beckoning to many families and members of faculty, there is the prospect of some 'down-time' away from study and work; many will leave Hong Kong for family reunions or recreational travel. Our end of year rituals create a clear sense of passage from one year to the next.

I must confess to a personal liking for 'deep autumn'. To me, this time of the year conveys a sense of settling, resting, recuperating, and preparing for the year ahead. It is a time of the year when long hikes under clear skies reveal the very best of the place we call 'home', whether by birth or choice. I enjoy the chance to think about the year past: its delights and disappointments, its milestones and memories. I also think of those things that I would like to accomplish in the new year.

While the passing of a year is typically a time for celebration, I recognize that not all of us will look back on 2017 with longing kindness; not all of us will face 2018 with a renewed sense of energized purpose. At the fulcrum between one year and the next, however, as we pivot from looking behind to looking ahead, it is important to offer thanks, perhaps silent, for those things that sustain us, encourage us, or inspire us. Finding such things may take effort, but it is likely to be rewarded at the very least with a sense of peaceful acceptance, if not tentative anticipation. Regardless of circumstance, I like to think of each day is a gift, but we have to choose to see it that way.

At a time of the year, when it is traditional to offer expressions gratitude for the recent past, and good wishes for the immediate future, I would like to take the opportunity to thank every member of the ISF community, from the youngest members of our Pre-School playgroup, through to the most 'senior‘ members of our parent body, for your participation and contribution to the ISF 'family‘ this year. While the hardware of the school gives us a sense of 'place‘, the heart and soul of ISF is found within each one of us, regardless of age or role.

I would like to wish everyone a restful and recuperative holiday break as we prepare for a new year of learning together! Bring on 2018!      


Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School

Quick Menu