Headmaster’s Blog

Do you know the story about the king who held a house-warming party? Well, a palace-warming party. It’s a story I told to our Hall House pupils in their collective worship assembly last week, and I’d like to share it with you now.

Once upon a time there was a king. He was super rich and super kind. One day he moved into a new palace – a really posh one with towers, turrets, and gold stuff everywhere. His new place (not a typo) was huge – 100 bedrooms – and had a cinema room, a swimming pool, a soft-play room and its own sweetie factory.
Once he’d moved in, he thought that it would be good fun to have a palace-warming party. So he got some invitations and he wrote to every single person in the kingdom. Everyone got an invitation; wherever they lived, whether they were rich or poor, no matter who they were.

At the bottom of the invitation the King had written: ‘I would be really pleased if you could bring a bowl – any sort of bowl – to the party, as a house-warming present’.
Some people in the kingdom were mean and decided to take just a teeny tiny bowl. ‘I don’t want to give him a big bowl’, they thought. ‘I want to keep the nice bowls for myself’. And so they took with them a little mini egg-cup.
Other people in the kingdom didn’t want to give much away either. ‘I want to keep the good bowls for myself’, they thought, ‘so I’ll take a soup bowl – I think the king will like that’.
There were some people in the kingdom who were much kinder and who thought that it would be really nice to offer their new king something much grander. These generous people took along a really big bowl – like a mixing bowl or a bucket.

And then one or two people in the kingdom were really, really kind and they chose the biggest and best bowl they could find – maybe a huge dustbin, maybe an enormous suitcase: they wanted to be super generous and to welcome their new neighbour. ‘It’s important to be generous and kind’, they thought.

The day of the party arrived. It was a spectacular affair: a disco, bouncy castles, chocolate fountains, sweets, cool music – everyone had a fabulous time. At the end of the party the king made an announcement. ‘Thank you for coming to my party’ he said, ‘and for bringing me my lovely presents. Over there by the door you will find a huge treasure chest full of diamonds. Please, as you leave, pick up the bowl that you brought with you and fill it with as many diamonds as you can: they will be yours to keep’.
Who do you think took home the most diamonds, I asked the Pre-Prep? And what about the people who had been really mean and just brought a little mini egg-cup – how did you think they felt when they went to scoop up some diamonds?

We agreed that, at this particular party, the more you offered, the more you received.

And we agreed that this could be the same for kindness. Or love. Or gentleness. Or sharing. Or smiling. Or looking after other people. Being kind to others, sharing with others, looking after others is the right thing to do, and it’s also a really good way of encouraging others to offer you those things in return. Those who gain the most are those who give the most – at the king’s party, in school, at home: everywhere.

13 March 2020
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