Be Joyful, Prayerful, Persistent, Pleasant, Direct, Honest … and Loving

The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15

Poppa means love
I know this is true
I know it because
My Poppa is you.
Required Reading,” Hallmark

“Lifelong learners” is the popular term for something adults do anyway, without prompting.  We’re constantly in the mode of acquiring knowledge, insight, and guidance, in the workplace, through our ever-growing number of digital devices, with our spouses and our families. The concept (if there ever was one) that your “education” ends at the high school or college door is long past, as much as the “30, out, with the gold watch” retirement scenario.

I use the video I have posted in my Media and Society classes. Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards created this ad in the 1990s with a storyline that you will learn at the end. The gentleman (played by Ken Strunk, of “Hidden Figures” and other major films), is perfect. As someone functionally illiterate, he needs help, and a patient, but persistent instructor guides him.

“You’re on your own, now”. Time for him to achieve his “real” goal.

Those of us born Catholic have (hopefully) had the advantage of being immersed in a strong faith life. Along the way, we are jolted into realizing not everyone appreciates that faith life, and our reason for celebrating it; I can recall, from my community college days, having a lady I liked tell me she couldn’t see me anymore. Her family was from a strong fundamentalist background, and Catholics weren’t welcome. I remember, still, the expression on her face as she closed her front door on their porch.

What influence can we bring in our secular and polarized world? What is the price of speaking up? What is the cost of spite from those in our midst?

I look forward to the expanding work of our Centers, based at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. Our students will be armed with the truth, yes, but also the tools, the support, and their enthusiasm to speak joy to a world sincerely needing it.

As people of faith, we must be joyful, prayerful, persistent, pleasant, direct, honest, and loving, as we speak the Word of God.

Acquiring knowledge is a challenge, even if you’re open. But becoming “wise” in the 21st century secular world is such an important, and joyful, goal.

Michael Throop