Monday, January 15, 2024

"Life Is Not All Jam"- Growing Together in Difficult Situations by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

When our family emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1956, I was enrolled in third grade in St. Thomas More School in Arlington, Virginia. I remember incidents in the  playground, in which my classmates made fun of me because of my Irish brogue.   
When I told my mother, Bridie, she reported the issue to the principal , Mother Mary Ivy, who had a conversation with the parents and the children  involved. 
My mother's words: "Alannah Mo Chroi, life is not all jam," rings true and challenges us to take action to right wrongs and deal with hurtful behavior. I think this is the reason I feel  deep compassion for immigrants who face major hurdles on so many levels in different cultures and countries.

In life, we face issues in which our first reaction may be to give up, suffer  humiliation, or remove ourselves from situation. But, painful, as it may be, we can, share our feelings, face up to what is happening and explore solutions that will address the situation. Sometimes, there may be even hidden treasures and opportunities that will help us grow to become better persons. In my case, I learned as a child, that one has to confront the situation and seek a solution that works for everyone.

Sr. Melannie Svoboda, SND offers an example of accepting people where they are in the following anecdote about life in the convent, entitled "Staying Put", that could apply to any relationship or community.

"When a second-year novice had become disillusioned with her community, she went to her novice director and complained about the other novices and vowed members as well as the ways things were being done in the community. Her novice director said jubilantly, 'At last you see our shortcomings. Now finally you can begin to love us!'” 

See her blog:

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