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I have just returned from eight days in China where I visited the parents of students in the school in three cities, attended exhibitions and gave presentations promoting The Knox School in two other cities and signed a sister school relationship with Shude School in Chengdu.

While visiting parents in China is a part of my role, it is still an experience that has me out of my comfort zone. I speak little Chinese and while I love the food, the cultural perspectives and our Chinese parents’ views of the broader world are often different from mine. Examples of these differences stop and make me reflect that there are many ways to view the world and its events.

I departed the day of the election and have tried to stay abreast of the events as they have unfolded. The results and some of the subsequent analysis and opinion pieces have been interesting to consider from a long way away. Many seem to have been shocked by the result, perhaps their self-fulfilling social media ‘bubble’ was burst. I must admit to being surprised at the result. Yet the people I have mixed with in China have lives that have unfolded day by day, totally unaffected by events in Australia. Perspective is wonderful.

On a similar note, four of our senior girls had a similar reflective experience of late but totally different to mine. They sang for patients at a nursing home and I am advised they were initially a bit anxious and out of their comfort zone, but found the context of their performance provided them with a new perspective and also found the experience profoundly rewarding. The response from the audience was incredibly positive. These young women stepped out, offered their talents for the enjoyment of others and were rewarded by the experience.

Stepping into the unknown, anxiety producing though it can be, leads to growth and a new perspective. You learn more about yourself and how you fit into your now expanded world and in the case of our senior girls, had a great experience.

We should all endeavour to try something new and if we can do so and help others at the same time, their lives and ours are enriched. We share something together and that helps us understand our differing perspectives on life.

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