Letter From The Editor


Elizabeth Newcomb, Editor in Chief

Does common sense exist? As high school students, our experiences expand in proportion with our independence. Those experiences bring us in contact with a wide variety of people with a wide variety of values. Each group has a written and unwritten definition or rules of good character. We have to take in these ideas and define good character for ourselves.
The late politician, John Lubbock, explains the general gist of it extremely well. He stated, “Your character will be what you yourself make it.” Okay, now that we’ve defined it, how do we fabricate it? Through our actions and reactions. Through our treatment of others. When we react to the world, how much is it our responsibility to affect others’ definitions of good character?
Often times we assume that the events that happen to us generate our character. It is true that we cannot always choose the good or bad in our lives, but how we choose to react to those events is what generates our good (and bad) character.
For example, if I wake up in an irritated mood, rush to get ready for school because I overslept forty five minutes, and then to top it all off, spill my overpriced and super necessary $5 pumpkin spiced latte on my way to school, how am I going to handle it? I have several options, but my main two are this: get over it and don’t let it ruin my day or hold a grudge and let it affect me and my mood for the next twenty-four hours.
It is within my nature to default to the second choice because that is how humans naturally work. It will always be easier to hold that grudge and be upset for the rest of the day for those annoying inconveniences. Nonetheless, because of who I have molded into as a person, I strive to find optimism and productive ways to move forward despite the lack of morning lattes.
I find myself reflecting on my personal behavior more and more as I mature and blossom into my own person. Much too often I realize that there are several aspects within my life that I aspire to change or grow upon. I believe that the character within each person is developed over time and with delicate care.
Every single day we have the choice as humans to prove who we are and who we want to be. Our character serves as a mirror exposing the image we’re choosing to create. Most importantly, who are we going to choose to be today and then eventually in the future?
Specifically at Grant, we strive to endorse an environment that “keeps it red”. Yet, much too often I find myself speculating on what that even means?
How do we have to act and react to produce that type of society within our school? How do we as students have to treat each other in order to create a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued? What do we all have to do in order to assure dedication towards appreciating each other?
There will never be a cut and dry answer, much to my dismay. However, living here in this moment is an opportunity to develop a common sense of what good character looks like. As students, we only have four years here to define what it means to show decent character within our school and even more so, within our daily lives too.
The variety of character within this single building is immense which provides the perfect scene to develop our character as individuals and as a community.
As you explore The Bark’s first issue for the 2019 school year, I advise that you reflect on not only the development of your own good character, but also the written and unwritten rules of good character in the communities we encounter at Grant.