The word foolish has many connotations and denotations. From the world, this word would incur a negative emotion, typically associated with those who don’t follow the norm or the current of society. However, at Harbin Wanbang School, the word foolishness takes on a new complexion and means to choose to do what is right and to choose not to do what is wrong, in spite of the circumstances. To stand your ground firmly even when others may sway, to have the courage to go against the flow for what is right, to do these in the face of uncertainty, improbability, and hostility, defines the word foolish at Wanbang.
In a society that only pursues success and encourages achievements and competitive edge, the notion of foolishness may seem foreign. Yet, when we consider the opportunity cost - the concession to one’s integrity, the moral corruption, and the individualistic mindset - of those who live solely to become the best, we begin to see the significance of living foolishly.
As a tower built on sand will collapse in time, a life built on compromises to integrity, moral and community is bound to fail at worst, and feel void at best. Alternatively, by doing what is right and not doing what is wrong, by being foolish, we are building character and life’s foundation from the bottoms up. One brick at a time, one tile at a time, the process is prolonged, but the outcome is the formation of character not shaken by whims of society, integrity built on trust over time and moral stability that will be a compass for one’s life. Foolishness is a lifestyle of purposefully and decidedly choosing not to take the short-cut of life.
At Harbin Wanbang School, we train our students to be foolish. Foolish to follow the rules even when nobody is watching. Foolish to listen to the teacher’s request and abide by them even during vacation. Foolish to have the chance to cheat, yet decide not to. Foolish to see and know the short-cuts of life, but choose not to take it.
During this coming 'Journey with King David' (called as 'vacation' in Wanbang School), every student will at last return home. Along with home, comes the call for comfort and stagnation and the whispers of compromise. But it is time to make a decision that regardless of the situation, the circumstances, and external forces, to do what is right, to not do what is wrong. It is time to choose to be foolish.