Memories, Meanings, and Lessons for LifeWritten by Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE
Some places just feel like home even if you’ve never lived there. I can feel calm settle over me as I turn from highway and see St. Joseph Convent perched in its solid position above Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. Its three-story arms spread across hill as if embracing furrowed farmland below. The manure-covered fields puff pungent perfume into April morning air. The dense pine trees planted by my grandfather are almost as tall as bell tower. I don’t remember pink and white dogwoods that blush next to retreat center but then again, I have never been here in spring. An emergency calls me here now.
Could it have been 45 years ago I watched my beautiful aunt walk down aisle and become a “Bride of Christ”, a term that kept my eight year-old Catholic mind in puzzlement? I remember coolness of chapel and stained glass colors dancing across pews. Could it have been so long ago and after successive summer visits, that my twin brother and sister and I found cows kept by Sister Phillip, grotto walkway, Lady of Lourdes statue and chicken coops? Could it have been so long ago that countless arms swaddled in black gauze reached to hug us against ample bosoms?
How strange it seemed that we had to meet her—Auntie Pep now-called Sister Mary Clare—in a small parlor with uncomfortable velvet chairs. Stranger too was hearing Nana and Pappaw call their daughter, “Sister Clare”.
There was mystery behind all those doors marked “private” just as surely there must have been some secret hidden behind starched headpiece and cowl and beneath long black skirt and veil. Yet for all mystery, my overwhelming sense was always one of contentment when I walked up steep marble stairs to entry hall and candlelit chapel.
The black habits are gone and I am staying in one of rooms behind private doors .I wear my bathrobe and stand shoulder to shoulder with nuns of all ages at a sink to spit toothpaste and water. I carry my tray into dining room and laugh at jokes around a table. I know security code to open backdoor and where yogurt is hidden in big refrigerator. It is now a different kind of mystery.
Look for the win, win!Written by Josh Hinds
I'm absolutely convinced that if we look hard enough at any given situation we can identify a win, win situation in it. "So what's big deal about win, win" you ask? Admittedly, I know a lot of people (many are friends of mine) that go day to day in their business dealings (and personal lives for that matter) looking for opportunities that only benefit themselves directly.
Now I am not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with this. Even so, I can't help but imagine that their personal level of success might multiply if they only took extra time to explore ways to ensure that opportunity was equally beneficial to all parties involved.
There's something magical about focusing on win, win scenarios. When we're fortunate enough to develop ourselves to point where we are always looking for these types of opportunities it's as if they literally come out of woodwork. The fact is people like to deal with those that don't have "what's in it for me attitude", don't you agree?