Living with integrity

As a young man, there were times when I was crippled with loneliness. The need to be liked made me overly sensitive to the negativity and perceived rejection by those whom I felt I needed their acceptance.

In my maturity, I have come to love and appreciate my alone time. I no longer seek or need the approval of those who do not really know me. I am living my vocation with integrity.

I have experienced significant generosity in my 48 years of teaching. I reflect on the hospitality of educators in Athens, Illinois. I was there for a professional development program on Student Assistance Programs and I was informed that one of the members of the staff was preparing lunch for me.

Unbeknownst to me, I was transported with a few other staff to her home. A very modest house, you might even say in a bit of despair. From this seemingly poor environment, I was honored with an elaborate Thanksgiving meal.

I was made welcome. I was an honored guest. There were no politics, no defense, no offense. I was invited to be a part of their family.

"My house is your house, my joy is your joy,
my sadness is your sadness, and my life is your life." - Henri Nouwen

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