More than a mantra

People find it so easy to hide behind anonymity to speak their mind. Ironic of me to say it, considering I am obligated, by virtue of my employment, to keep my own identity under wraps. Still, I stand by my words proudly, as blunt as they can be. These are my private thoughts and feelings and I own them.

Humility and integrity was my mantra to my most recent crop of young minds. I was always open about the fact that the former was my challenge while the latter was my goal. In my new incarnation, I have finding that humility is strength. My intellectual pretensions seem less effective. I cannot merely use my mental acuity or wit to problem-solve in my new profession. It takes courage, compassion, and more patience than I have ever been asked to give. Perhaps, when I finally feel that I have learned the groundwork for my job, I can take up jail ministry, a calling I have had for years.

One of the children I once taught is in prison for murder. For quite some time, I have longed to visit him. I think he might appreciate a familiar face, a rosary or Bible verse. I can’t use my English major vocabulary then or look down on what I may perceive as ignorance. No, then I will truly need to live out the humility and integrity I value.

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