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Ομιλία βασιλέως Κωνσταντίνου, στην ετήσια συνεδρίαση Round Square στην Μασαχουσέτη των Η.Π.Α. (Αγγλικό κείμενο)
Τετάρτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2004
Κατηγορία: Ομιλίες

Ομιλία βασιλέως Κωνσταντίνου, στην ετήσια συνεδρίαση Round Square στην Μασαχουσέτη των Η.Π.Α. (Αγγλικό κείμενο)


What an amazing week we have all enjoyed here in Deerfield, in this marvellous school. We had a great Conference, full of provocative speakers, animated discussions in our Rikkas and Barazas, connecting with old acquaintances and forging new friendships.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank personally as well as on behalf of the Board of Round Square, and I believe I can say on behalf of all you delegates:

The Headmaster of Deerfield Academy, Dr. Eric Widmer.

The Conference organizers, Lydia Hemphill and Martha Lyman. Thank you for making our visit so enjoyable and our participation so stimulating.

The students of the Academy, especially those who over the past year have been active in helping Lydia and Martha.

The speakers of this Conference, President Valessa, Thomas Heise, Louise Richardson and Michael Gazzaniga. the parents and Governors.

The kitchen staff as well as all the staff of the Academy, who helped make this Conference such a success.

Thank you Terry Guest and all the staff of Round Square. You work so hard and so effectively for all of us.

And of course the core of Round Square, the students, who once again have been our leaders and inspiration. You give our Conference the life and breath, which keeps us moving ahead from year to year.

Conference themes are very important. In the past years, we have learned to build bridges at Westfield, discovered the power of one at Appleby, left our footprints in the journey to the center at St. Philip's.

Last year in South Africa, we realized how important for our being is 'UBUNTU', becoming people through other people. We came to recognize that although we are all different, we very much need each other in this world.

Deerfield's theme, 'Exploring our Frontiers', gave us much food for thought. Young people are often advised to explore their horizons, their frontiers, to seek new experiences and deeper knowledge, to develop their appreciation of the world and contribute to its betterment.

'Explore your Frontiers'; it may sound clich?. But clich?s have hidden truths, which we are prompted to discover.

We talk about frontiers in many ways, in technology, medicine science and human knowledge in general. But the most important frontiers are those that we impose on ourselves; those that we must explore and venture beyond, both for self improvement and contribution to the common good.

This year's theme urges us to act beyond our comfort zone, a zone that denotes an area most people tend to settle down and stay, because they think they feel safe. They think they feel safe, away from hardships, discomfort, chance and therefore risk.

Comfort zone is the antithesis of exploring our frontiers. Kurt Hahn stressed that we should be impelled into experiences, and those experiences involve pushing ourselves into the unknown the places where we have not been before.

History is decorated with bright examples of individuals who explored and crossed their frontiers, thus contributing to the progress of society and civilisation. Men and women who challenged the apparent, who sought beyond the given, whose presence in our world transgresses time.

Every generation has at its disposal novel, or developed tools to broaden their possibilities and perspective. Today, you the new generation, have effortless access to information and a range of means of communication unheard of for past generations.

Even the trend of globalisation creates new frontiers that invite further expansion for young explorers such as yourselves.

For many of you, a term away on exchange can represent crossing a frontier. Suddenly you find yourself at a new school, in a strange country, away from home and your friends, away from your comfort zone.

But if you are willing to explore your new frontier, it is amazing how quickly that zone of discomfort becomes familiar and safe.

And then we have RSIS, with its service projects, which challenge and test the physical and mental capabilities of those involved in them. To the best of my knowledge, there is nobody, who has participated in a regional or international Round Square project, who, given the opportunity again, would not participate in another.

To a person, especially a young person, these experiences open the door to a world, which we sometimes tend to ignore. Where we see people with little in material prosperity or sophistication, but people who are willing to give and share what little they have. This has proved to be a humbling, life-changing way to stretch ourselves to explore the frontiers of humanity.

The truth is that horizons open up with a smile, with patience, understanding, faith and humility in the way we lead our lives and seek knowledge.
Explore your frontiers and expand your horizons by smiling on the dawn of a new day, by refraining to judge people, by taking a small step to becoming a better person.

It is a daily chore but a rewarding one-and the only tool needed is oneself. Small steps made by individuals who explore their frontiers, translate into lengths of progress for society, civilisation and our world.


2004 will be remembered for many events, good and bad, but the one that stands out, and both as a Greek and an Olympian makes me very proud is the Olympic Games in Athens.

This was an inspiring and extraordinary summer for anyone who followed the Olympic Games in Athens. In my mind, the celebration of Olympicism is the grandest tribute to the six I.D.E.A.L.S., which we at Round Square hold as pillars in education and life:

Internationalism is at its best,
Democracy in effect,
A novel sensitivity towards the Environment,
A physical and mental Adventure,
Meritocracy in Leadership, and
An altruistic sense of Service.

The pursuit of these ideals towards and during the Athens Olympics, was a remarkable example of the power of solidarity and of the extraordinary results of determination.

Greece was the smallest country ever to host the Summer Olympics. Yet Greeks gathered from around the world, the youth sacrificed its vacations, people of all backgrounds, educational and social status volunteered to make what many thought impossible, a phenomenal success.

In the history of the Games, we had the largest ever number of applicants to volunteer and, it must be said, the warmest smiles and finest service.

The victory of these ideals in Athens comes at a time when the world yearns for illustrations of confidence and optimism- when we needed our faith underpinned.

The zeitgeist created is the most articulate answer to the tragedies we witnessed in New York and Madrid. And after the indescribable events in Beslan, Russia, in the morrow of this unprecedented cruelty, only the faces of those who triumphed over tragedy, the athletes of the Paralympics, can refuel our hope.

Let us explore our frontiers, as the Paralympians have done, by working together to face the authentic problems of our time. Generating a vision that can inspire the many and strengthen the belief that for humanity to survive, we need one another.

See you next year in Melbourne.

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