On April 7, Stephanie and I spent the day at Highclere Castle, more popularly known as Downton Abby. While lined up outside waiting to get in, we noticed that above every ground floor window was the family motto carved in stone. Repeated at least a dozen times across the front of this magnificent house was the motto for all to see and read. It is written in ancient Normandy French and translated reads “only one will I serve”. The guide could not tell us who the “one” was – was it God? Was it the King of England? If Margaret Bottome had anything to say I think she would have settled that ambiguity – to her the Carnarvon family motto could only mean that the one was The One. If you have a European background, it may be possible to find your ancient family motto. My British family’s motto is Nil Desperandum, which, as a child, I thought meant “nothing to spare” but it actually means “do not despair”. If you could write a personal or family motto today what would it be? What would it look like if every family posted its motto in a prominent place for all to see? Our KDS motto is “look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in and lend a hand”. I thank God for a KDS motto that is timeless, unambiguous and inspiring.

Christine Dawson
International President

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