Go Forth and Annoy

April 30, 2015

Weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard HS parent community:

You have probably heard the phrase, “Attitudes are contagious.” This phrase is often followed by the question, “Is yours worth catching?”

Too often we allow circumstances to shape our attitude – to take control. It is important to remember that while we may not be able to control circumstances, we can certainly control how we respond to circumstances.

This time of year can be challenging at any school. Students grow weary of following rules and the faculty grows weary of enforcing them. Students want relief from homework and tests, and teachers want relief from the nights and weekends of grading. Budget discussions and financial aid determinations are ongoing. Personnel decisions are being made for next school year. Students, faculty, and staff have been hard at work since early August and they are ready for the school year to be over. People have a bit of an edge.

I know I’m in need of an attitude adjustment, too. I feel the weight of juggling multiple responsibilities. There are health concerns in my family. I am drained physically and mentally. I can sense that I am allowing these circumstances to take control. I have not maintained a stellar attitude – certainly not one anyone would want to “catch.”

I once heard Bishop Coyne, former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, deliver a homily that included the following message: He invited everyone present to renew their commitment to living life with a positive attitude, as a witness to their faith. He urged us to take control of our attitudes and to live our faith by presenting the best of ourselves to others. He said, “You should know that people in need of attitude adjustments themselves may find your positive attitude to be somewhat annoying.” He ended with, “Now get out there and annoy some people!”

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