Thursday, October 27, 2011

Different Kinds of Classrooms

I am no stranger to classrooms. In fact, I receive tremendous energy and joy from being a student, especially a student of theology. So, my Dominican sisters, friends, and family were not surprised that I registered to take a Christian Ethics course this semester.


Two other types of classrooms are also capturing my attention and engaging my heart. For the past four years, I have been a student of life within the context of our criminal justice system, working with women sentenced to serve time in a county corrections facility. Two months ago, I additionally said yes to working with people facing a significant crisis of some kind because of a lost job, possibility of eviction from their homes, or lack of money to pay bills and buy food.

I study hard, work hard, and learn something new every day. Mostly what I am learning these days seems to be about paying attention – to others, my attitudes toward them, decisions that I make, and how I choose to act. I try to do my best with all of this in a growing understanding of what it means to be in relationship with others -- caring about people’s lives and well-being.I do this, as I am cared about and anchored in a large Dominican family.  What gifts!

How are you doing with paying attention, in whatever “classroom” you find yourself? Who and what do you care about? What choices are you making?

Tanya Williams, OP
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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