What is essential is invisible to the eye.

~ Fred Rogers quoted this line from the “Little Prince” in 2001 Middlebury College commencement address.

It’s our day #2 of Earth Week celebrations. As we do every Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM, we gathered for chapel*. Sometimes Middle School and early gatherings just don’t mix; this morning was just one of those. It just takes one person, though, to bring us to think and begin our day together. Mr. Bireley welcomed the students and asked the student body what they see on a small desk on the stage (a glass like this picture). Some said, “a glass half-full!”; some said, “Half-empty!”. “It’s interesting,” Mr. Bireley said, “That no one said, half-full with water and other half full with air”. He proceeded to talk about the importance of invisible traits: Helpfulness, Caring, Kindness, Courtesy and Character. It was really cool to hear him talk about practical ways to show our invisibility through being helpful, caring, kind, courteous people who show character. He said he chose to sing Michael Jackson’s Heal the World for morning song because as we celebrate Earth Week, it’s not just about reducing, reusing and recycling that makes our world a better place. As the chorus of the song goes:

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull Volano and Haiti earthquake (and other subsequent quakes) come to mind today.

*chapel is same as school assembly. We are non-sectarian school, but still has Christian traditions.


  1. I love this idea of the “invisible qualities.” These qualities are the ones that rarely get our attention, but they make the greatest impact on the people around us. When I think about the people whom I admire the most, I note that’s it is precisely their “invisibility” that draws me to them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Philip!

    It was so refreshing to focus on the concept of invisible qualities; admittedly, I think it is even hard for us adults to grasp at times. I am with you in that influential figures in my life display quiet but strong invisible qualities that draw me in.

    Thanks for visiting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s