(NB: Not really school-related. Take it for what it’s worth.)
Kids steal things at school. Stuff that has no value to them, that they have no possible use for.
Why? Because they can. Because it inconveniences other people. Because it’s a way to strike back at people and institutions they don’t feel valued by.
I get it.
This past school year anyone with any kind of authority (in school or out) exercised it over me, often in the most petty way possible. By the time I left the building on May 31 I was sick and damn tired of being everybody’s punching bag.
I felt a little like Ken in A Fish Called Wanda:
Nobody likes feeling bullied. The imbalance of power generates a lot of feelings, most of them socially unacceptable. But I’m mature, and a professional, and a Catholic. Revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
So mostly this summer, I’ve been walking a lot, and reading in the sun, and praying, and doing a lot of not-school-related stuff as a cure.
- Daily Mass is Awesome.
- Rosary ladies are an avenue of grace into the world.
- There should be more of that, for real. As K-Lo says, they carry the world’s load as they wield their rosaries.
A person who has worked at my youngest son’s grade school pretty much the entire time he went to school there is in the cancer fight right now. It’s not my story to tell, so no details. My parish has rallied around the family, as church groups do, providing meals and keeping company. But then, one of the family’s friends organized a Rosary for her tonight. And, wow.
There were like 100 people in the chapel at our church. The outgoing school principal, who retired at the end of the just-completed year, and just about every teacher at the school, past and present, and dozens of families who have been connected in one way or another all came out.
The power of group prayer, baby. It was intense, and beautiful. The spouse addressed us tonight before we started. Tough guy, blue-collar guy. He could barely keep from choking up. Meals are awesome. But when you see a community that has your back, all in one place, that is strong stuff.
So, it turns out I have power after all. Just not the “revenge” kind. And I get to decide: do I want to use it for good, or for evil.
All I know is, on the drive home, as Mrs. Dull & I waited for a freight train to pass, we looked at each other and could not get over how awesome an evening this was. And that we should do it again, soon. Like, “who else can we pray for now? Let’s Go!”.
Use that power, people. Go lift somebody up. It’s literally good for the soul.