By Kavita Gupta Sabharwal, Head of School
Schools normalizing after 700 days of COVID disruptions are an opportunity to reflect on relationships in a physical world. I make the case for Acceptance, Trust, and Support
Twenty-four years ago I traveled 13,000 km for my first day at Harvard Business School to study with people who spoke in 30 different languages. I sought out Indian faces but realized that I knew more about American culture from movies, books and popular music than anyone in my class would know about India or me. Accepting the differences and valuing them was a better way to build relationships than looking for similarities.
I see similar scenes replaying at Neev in the cafeteria, bus, playground, classes, and groups meant to be teams. We justify forming groups with people like ourselves with the negativity of looking for weakness in others. But this absence of trust in the value of collaborating with the unsimilar hurts our relationships, our creativity, and our evolution. Most painfully, it hurts our ability to support each other in our growth, our pain, and our strengths.
Our collective ability to accept, trust, and support makes Neev better and stronger. Of course, higher multiculturality makes it harder to exchange knowledge. But it is our differences that make the world richer more often than our similarities. Everyone has something to offer. Find it. Leave nobody behind.
A Neev preschool activity I love is the creation of books by each child on the one thing they do well enough to teach others. Our community would be better, stronger, and safer if all of us did a version of this exercise every day; finding and celebrating what each person does well. How can we trust people, support them, and see their best selves? How can we value different perspectives with an open mind, to build a community that truly believes in collaboration and friendship? These are questions that have been asked for centuries. And they have answers I hope Neev can find together.