Preparing Boys for Life.

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Giants
Dr. John Nagl

On Tuesday morning, I attended the memorial service celebrating the life of Austin Wylie, a rising senior at The Shipley School. Austin was a very talented soccer player, a good student, and a fine young man well known to our community; several Haverford boys were in attendance at the service.

The Celebrant was Father Peter Donohue. He told those of us in attendance not to ask why Austin left this life so young, but to reflect upon how the gift of his life had touched each of us. Father Peter also reminded us of the parable of David and Goliath; as you will recall, the young David slew the giant, saving the people of Israel from the Philistines.

Each of us faces giants in our lives—problems that at some point seem too big to handle. Our giants may be related to school or to work; they may be a sickness or an injury, or they may result from problems in relationships or struggles with drugs or alcohol. Whatever giants confront us can be slain through teamwork and trust, but that fact is not always apparent in the heat of battle to the young person facing his or her giant.

Tell them that however horrible those giants appear, you will be there to stand with your child against them, and together, you are stronger than the most horrible opponents.

Please talk with your sons and daughters about the giant opponents in their life, the things that they struggle against and fear that they cannot overcome. Tell them that however horrible those giants appear, you will be there to stand with your child against them, and together, you are stronger than the most horrible opponents.

The Division Heads and School Counselors are working to develop age and grade-appropriate discussions of resilience, teamwork, and trust for next month when your sons return to Haverford.

And today, and every day, tell your children that you love them, and that you will help them confront any giants that confront them in their lives. We're all in this together.

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