Mr. Douglas K. Prescott, principal of the Canadian International School of Beijing, delivered remarks
Date:2017-09-21    Count:34197

Good afternoon—Professor Li, President Wu, Ambassadors, visiting Chinese government officials, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen-Ni Hao, Bounjour and welcome to CISB!

It is an honor for me to have been asked to speak briefly to you today. It is yet another amazing opportunity that I have been blessed with while being involved in what I refer to as “the greatest profession on earth”— a field that has allowed me to live out my dreams and aspirations each day. 

You may ask what profession that is—it is being an educator. You see, an educator touches “a little piece of eternity every day” as he/she interacts with their students. The teacher has no idea where their influence stops—they are always preparing students for a future that we do not know and this brings a great sense of excitement! With this excitement comes an enormous amount of responsibility as our words and actions can be negative or positive, setting a young man or woman on the path to greatness if we choose wisely how we invest our words and actions. 

I want to challenge each of you here today with a phrase that I have as my personal motto. It simply says—only a life lived in service to others is truly a life lived worthwhile. 

If you wish to make a difference in the world we need to learn how to help others, and make their day and world better and then we will always feel happier, be more content with our life and our contribution to a more positive world and have the respect and admiration of those around us.

Peace has been described in many terms. Personally, when I think about the word peace, I think of calmness, quiet, tranquility, no violence, respect and lawfulness. At CISB, we endeavor to foster peace as one of the 3-P’s in creating an environment that is peaceful, positive and productive. 

In my short time, today I want to speak to you briefly about the 3-P’s. In the international school setting, there are many things that are “intentionally done” to create an environment that is peaceful, positive and productive. 

It all starts with our school Mission statement. Our Mission states “Our CISB community is committed to developing lifelong learners in an inspiring, safe and culturally diverse environment, to be responsible global citizens”. For all our stakeholders - students, staff, and parents, our Mission statement is the basis for everything else that happens each day within our learning, playing and work environment.

The second step is to ensure all stakeholders understand our “core beliefs”. In order to realize our mission statement, which is our vision for each student, staff member and parent within our school community, then we must ensure for communal understanding of and deep commitment to the desired outcome - which is a peaceful, positive and productive environment for everyone. 

At CISB we believe in building strong relationships with all CISB stakeholders; developing knowledgeable lifelong learners through formal and informal learning; fostering personal and professional growth; creating a safe environment of understanding and respect and contributing positively to the world community. 

To this end we are proud of our students, staff and parents who have embraced and helped us create such caring, nurturing, supportive school environment. 

Each year as I have the opportunity and privilege to speak I use three short phrases to encourage, inspire and cause peaceful action amongst youth and adults in the communities and countries that I have been privileged to work.  

The three small phrases are –Accept the Challenge, Meet the Challenge and Go Beyond the Challenge.

You see, each of you sitting here today have the “power” to change our world with one positive action at a time. Each of us need to realize and embrace what can be done in terms of making a positive difference—we must first start with ourselves—the “me” within us. I have to be willing to “accept the challenge” to do something positive in order to create peace or more peaceful experiences/surroundings for those around me—at home-at school-at work and within our world. 

I need to fall “in love” with the challenge that change brings and then watch the change within me grow. In other words, if my words and actions lead to something positive then I will be encouraged and inspired to do more while building up my resiliency to change. 

Let me close with these few thoughts--I believe that each of us need to make a conscious decision to get involved personally and professionally with increasing the “peace quota” around us! Take positive risks often to make this happen. Stop being satisfied with the “status quo”—remember that growth only happens when you face something new or uncomfortable! 

I believe that you are not here today by accident—there is a reason for your presence today—possibly one that will not become clear until you return home and reflect upon what you have heard today! 

As I look out at you today, I feel moved by the potential that exists within each of you—it is intriguing and very exciting to think about “what can happen” as each of you take accept, meet and go beyond the challenge with making changes that make our world a better place. 

Finally, I want to leave you with these words-“You are the only real barrier in your path to living a life that makes a difference each day”. You are the most valuable natural resource that your country has and I believe that each of you can do what it takes to make our world a better place. Sometimes the “right path” is not easy but know that I believe in you and your resolve to make our world a better place! In the end we must all ask one question—if not me, then who? 

What do you want your “legacy” to be when your time comes to an end?  How do you want to be remembered by your family, colleagues, friends and world? Is it important to you that your life has made a positive difference with respect to peace within your home, your child’s school, your workplace, your community, your country and our world? 

Confucius said –“If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice; if your plan is for 10 years plant trees; if your plan is for 100 years educate children”. This China Peace Festival event is following up on what Confucius said so long ago-today we must invest in our youth, we must involve our youth and as adults we must become more engaged understanding our commitments to a better world will make change possible for future generations to enjoy a more peaceful world! 

Thank you! Xie Xie—and best wishes that as you leave today’s event that you will be inspired and willing to “be the change” required in our world! 

Li Ruohong, president of China World Peace Foundation and Beijing International…
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