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JHC Parents Newsletter, 6th February 2018


6th February 2018


Dear Parents and Friends,

After a busy half-term, students and staff will have a short respite to re-energize and be ready for another activity-filled half-term upon their return.

Upon resumption, the focus will primarily be the continuation of preparing the Year 9’s and 11’s for the fast-approaching external examinations with more vigor and vim, and a laser-like focus. Students need to apply the utmost conscientiousness and do more than what is required as staff will expect nothing less than a 101% consistent effort.

What makes you happy or put another way, what will make you happy? Harvard psychologist and Happiness researcher, Daniel Gilbert, author of bestselling book, ‘Stumbling on Happiness’, says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research. He believes that, in our ardent, lifelong pursuit of happiness, most of us have the wrong map. In the same way that optical illusions fool our eyes — and fool everyone’s eyes in the same way — Gilbert argues that our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy. And these quirks in our cognition make humans very poor predictors of our own bliss.

Furthermore, he puts it, “If I wanted to predict your happiness, and I could know only one thing about you, I wouldn’t want to know your gender, religion, health, or income. I’d want to know about your social network – about your friends and family and the strength of the bonds with them.” Deep connections with others enrich our lives and form a foundation for happiness across the lifespan.

The above is important as more people become addicted to social media platforms and different kinds of technology, allowing these to result in a disconnect from reality and society. Technology is important, but it should not be at the expense of relationships, bonds and connections, whether personal, family or community, otherwise we will eventually reap what we sow.

Daniel Gilbert indicates that other indicators of happiness and include, ownership over one’s decisions, hard work and feeling competent, and gratitude for your lot in life.

I wish you all the best and enjoy the time with your children.

Yours sincerely
Mr. Abraham Swart