AA Senior Seth Z. Delivers Chapel Talk
2017, May 1 – The experience of being a student in a small school offers an opportunity to learn acceptance of multiple viewpoints, said Seth Z. in his chapel talk, delivered on April 26. Perhaps even more importantly, he said, was the self-acceptance he achieved as a student at the Academy since kindergarten.
With such few numbers, Seth acknowledged that some students may be the only one in their class with certain opinions or interests. Some students, he said, might even force themselves to fit in with what seems to be the majority. “There is a better option,” he said. “Wear the clothes you like to wear . . .come to your beliefs on your own. Being truly authentic like this will give you self-confidence,” he said.
This attitude can extend to a beneficial world-view for populations that are more connected than ever before. “With this gift of connection, I believe it would be irresponsible not to use this technology to start a conversation with those of different cultures and worldviews” said Seth. The challenge comes when people become intolerant of others. “If we decide to give each person’s view at least an open mind, it will bring on positive change.”
This approach can be applied globally or experienced when students at the Academy disagree. Seth encouraged his fellow students to respect each other’s opinions and search for commonality. In addition, he said that “we must continually remind ourselves that our feelings, our thoughts, and our beliefs are not necessarily the capital T truth.”
Seth acknowledged that this goal might seem unattainable when people seem more divided in their opinions than ever before. However, he asserted that searching for consensus and forging compromises is “at least worth striving toward.” The years he has spent at the Academy have taught him this lesson of tolerance. After years of feeling different from the mainstream among his peers, he has learned to honor his own and others’ opinions while also realizing that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Seth concluded with a wish that his fellow students would join him in this commitment and learn to approach each other’s differences with a greater degree of tolerance.
As a student at the Academy since kindergarten, Seth has been active in many arenas. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. He has been a member of the Scholastic Bowl team and participated in forensics competitions. As a student-athlete, Seth was a member of the cross country team. He also served as treasurer of the Student Government Organization. This year, Seth has been instrumental in reviving the Science Club, and he helped initiate the Academy’s Environmental Club.
Attending Seth’s Chapel Talk were his mother and stepfather, Patricia and Mike M. Also present were his grandparents, Doris and Buck S., and friends Erin A. and Hunter W.
Guests and the senior class attended a reception following the Chapel Talk program.