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  • Jason Johnson

The Hummingbird and the Aegis

I thought I would write a short post about why we picked these symbols to represent our school. I was fortunate enough to learn about Wangari Maathai 14 years ago listening to one of my favourite podcasts. Her ethos and her life story resonated with me to a degree that is hard to articulate. I'll let her explain the humming bird in her own words:


This is from a delightful movie which I highly recommend about the life and tribulations of Maathai and those close to her.


The Aegis, though, is my contribution. The history of humanity is the history of the sword in so many ways. Wars, violence, slavery, and inequality have their origins with the point of the sword (metaphorical and literal) and they are perpetuated by the application of the sword. The Aegis is a mythological armor or shield of protection (depending on the source).


There are two qualities inherent in humanity that makes humanity great: curiosity and compassion (or empathy if you like). They are equally important. Curiosity makes us scientists and explorers; it pushes us to know the bounds of the universe and ourselves. Compassion allows us to work together; we are very small individually, but collectively, we have sent probes beyond the bounds of our solar system. We have fused lead into gold. We have unraveled the quantum nature of our universe and fearsome gravitational tides of relativity. None of these of things were possible without the combination of those traits.


Humanity is growing too big and too powerful. We need to step back for a moment and strike a new balance. The only way to do that is through a reimagined education that takes us to the limits of both our curiosity and compassion and forces us to extend those limits. Together, we can become the Aegis on which all future swords will break. It is up to each of us to find our small lot of responsibility in creating that Aegis. And, if we can do this, we will find that beneath that shield, we were protecting the greatest asset we had all along: each other.

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