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The Value of HUMILITY

Humility PosterAt the beginning of the year, we introduced you to Grayston Prep’s new core values. They are;

Lifelong Learning

Each core value will be shared with you through powerful stories, but not just any stories. Each of the stories will relate to a core value and will be true and specific to Grayston Prep, as told through the events of a Grayston Prep child, parent or staff member.

The third core value of Humility was announced by our Headmaster, Mark Hayter, in assembly on Wednesday. Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. Our story of Humility is told by our Estate Assistant, Lucky Phiri.

The Value of HUMILITY, as told by Lucky Phiri

Luckson Phiri, or “Lucky” as he is known to the community, has just returned from Game, where he was purchasing 600 bottles of water for the Grayston pupils and staff due to water cuts in Johannesburg. In tackies and a Grayston shirt, the 45-year-old comes across as humble and joyful, smiling all the time.

When asked to tell a story that illustrated his humility, Lucky struggles to think of an example – as to be expected of a truly humble man. Finally, after much coaxing, a story emerges.

“It was a Friday afternoon, after school had closed, when security called me. A boy had lost his school bag. I walked with him and his parents to the bottom field, to aftercare and to the lockers, but we couldn’t find the bag. On Sunday, the parents returned to search for the bag again. The boy had homework due on the Monday. I suggested we look in the boy’s classroom and, sure enough, the school bag was there. I knew that the boy had simply forgotten his bag, but I joked with the parents, not wanting to shame him. I shook hands with the child, and told him to come to me any time for help.”

Lucky remembers being a child losing his possessions and empathises with the students: “We are supposed to be in front, to lead by example. We are here for a reason: to take care of this place of learning. We understand that children are forgetful. I have to be the better person. I don’t shout or scream at them. I want them to know they can come to me for help. The school is big and children leave things lying around.”

The former Zimbabwean actively coaches the Grayston pupils to take care of their belongings. His methodology involves building the pupils up, congratulating them and calling them “grown up” in front of their parents. “They are happy and come to me to tell me that they have not lost anything for a while. This in turn motivates me, to understand that I’m playing a part in their education. I feel proud and happy to see the kids happy; I don’t want to see the children upset.”

It is a 16-hour trip to Bulawayo but Lucky has taken the lessons learned at Grayston into his personal life (although he admits it is much harder to do with his own daughter – whose picture is on his cell phone).

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