Our years at Carden Memorial School have prepared us for success in our future. We have been blessed with an education in mathematics, history, literature, and science. This strong foundation of knowledge gives us confidence as we continue to pursue our education. But, beyond this, we have been taught the importance of good character. We have learned to value Courtesy, Civility, and Dignity.
Courtesy is the showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others. Carden students are taught at a very young age that “Courtesy is not optional.” From Junior Kindergarten to E Form, students stand when an adult enters the room. Courtesy is the basis of good behavior.
Civility goes hand-in-hand with courtesy. It is formal politeness in speech. As we stand to greet adults who enter the room, we greet them with “Good Morning, Mrs. Horne,” or “Good afternoon, Mr. Jeffs.” After a lesson, as we depart, we say, “Thank you for the lesson, Mrs. Brewerton.” My brother has told me that this civility of thanking the teacher for a lesson is quite uncommon in public schools. He says we can earn BIG points with our high school teachers if we continue to practice the civility we have learned at Carden.
Finally, I would like to talk about Dignity. Dignity is the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect; also, self respect. Our sense of self worth has developed as we understand our relationship with Heavenly Father. Spiritual discussions are not taboo at Carden. We celebrate Christmas instead of “Winter Festival.” We pray in our school devotionals, and we study the scriptures in our classes. We know who we are.
On our American History Tour, many other tourists were impressed with our solemn demeanor at various places like Washington’s Tomb, the Pentagon Memorial and other war memorials. At our visit to the American History Museum, we visited the flag that inspired the words to “The Star Spangled Banner.” We sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” and afterward, many people approached us and told us how dignified we looked and sounded.
As I said before, dignity is having self respect. Before people can respect us we have to respect ourselves. Mae Carden personified dignity. Her respect for herself as well as her respect for others was shown in everything she ever did or wrote. Meditation number six reads:
I must banish unkind words and thoughts,
For they are costly.
My life is the result of my thoughts.
What I think, I am.
I must refuse to think
Unkind or discouraging thoughts.
They must not be the master of my life.
Mae Carden had a clear outlook of what qualities were really important. These qualities are taught to all Carden Students. I hope as we all leave Carden we will continue to be courteous, cultivate civility, and continue to strive for dignity. On behalf of our class, I’d like to thank all the teachers who have taught us over the years and influenced our lives forever. We would also like to thank our parents for the sacrifices they have made to allow us to attend Carden Memorial School.