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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stating the Facts

I was taught this lesson by a Junior High student in my high school - a young girl whose name I don't know, a girl I probably won't recognize if I see her, again.

It isn't a funny story, it isn't sad and it isn't a story of poetic justice.

It's just a reminder that 'fighting back' doesn't necessarily have to be a gesture of grandeur; it can simply be an agreement to disagree, and to walk away.

Catholics observe Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent, and we did so this year, on February 22. At our school, we celebrated with the traditional distribution of ashes.

On my way to my room after lunch, I heard one young boy tell the girl that she should 'wipe that stupid stuff off her head.'

She replied, "No, I shouldn't, because I am Christian and it means something to me."

He didn't say anything else. Neither did she. They just stood and looked at each other a moment before she went to the bathroom.

There were no terse words. There was no anger. She explained her feelings and that was the end of it.

I had stopped in the event that she needed help and that I might need to step in, although neither of them saw me. I did not need to do so, since she handled the situation well.

If only we all had the courage to stand up for our beliefs like that: no fear, just a simple stating of fact, and moving on.

I hope she carries those lessons onward through her life. I hope she teaches others on her path. I hope she doesn't forget her core beliefs. I hope she is always that strong and unwavering in her faith, both in herself and her God. I hope she continues to inspire others to have the same strength and courage.

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