(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 19 May 2017)
Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God…
Serendipity – The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way… I’ve always been fascinated with coincidences, with chance… how one single moment can literally change the rest of your life. Let me give you an example. On March 17th, 1990, Anne Nunes was on a plane ride home. She sat next to a guy with goofy oversized glasses, wearing a Celtics jersey and basketball shorts. His name was James Fleet. And from there, we, meaning my brothers and I, became just a possibility. So, what if my mom was late and missed her flight or what if my dad sat just one row back? Then I wouldn’t be here. My entire family would cease to exist, all based on the seat number on an airplane ticket. So… what are the odds?
I’m sorry Mr. Pereira, I can’t say that I did any statistical math calculations for this one; some probabilities simply can’t be calculated. But I want everyone to ask themselves this question: What if you had never been in the same home room freshman year as one of your best friends now, would you still be friends with them? Or what if you decided to try out for soccer instead of basketball, would you have sat at a different lunch table, with completely different people? Every choice, every coincidence has brought you to where you are today. Some choices are bigger than others like choosing La Salle or choosing where you want to go to college. We seniors know how tough that choice is a little too well; but, even the tiniest choices impact our lives, even as small as which way you decide to walk to class. I switched up my route to Spanish this week and it completely changed the faces I saw in the hallway. I saw some juniors that I hadn’t seen in awhile, had different conversations with different people, all because I chose to walk on the second floor rather than the 3rd, one seemingly insignificant choice.
I could tell you that choices and coincidences are all we need in life, but it’d be a lie. In order to truly embrace life it matters how we react. We must be open to experience something or someone new. Throughout the years at La Salle, as I’ve taken pictures at anything from football games and school dances to Christmas at La Salle, I’ve come to know people I never would have talked to before. Had it not been for photography, there are freshman and sophomores, friends of friends, spike-ball ambassadors, artists, other photographers, that I probably never would have met. Choosing to take pictures at football games was certainly exhausting, especially when I’d have 10 texts before I even got home asking when the pics would be up, but through my lens I came to know so many different people… One single choice brought me to hundreds of people. I never once regretted it because I knew every time I brought my camera somewhere, I would meet someone new as long as I was open to the idea.
Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit, in the people we talk to, the routes we take to class, the lunch tables we sit at. If there is anything I have learned through my experience at La Salle, it is that each and every single person has something to offer, but you will never know what it is until you give them a chance. So open yourself up to new opportunities and people. La Salle has given me more friends than I could have ever imagined, but most importantly it taught me to be open to any opportunity that comes your way. There is always going to be someone new to meet, to have a conversation with; make them feel special too. Try to mix things up a little every once in awhile, even if it’s just going left instead of right, up instead of down or not planning where you sit at the assembly, because let’s be honest we all wait to meet up with friends before we sit down. You never know when one single moment could lead to a lifelong friend or simply a new perspective. I mean, just ask my mom, I’m sure she’ll tell you she didn’t think that 30 years later she’d still be with the goofy guy in seat 27C.
Now, let us pray, dear Lord, thank you for the gift of La Salle – for every new opportunity and experience it has brought us… For every friendship that it has given us. Let us always be open to life’s coincidences, its chance encounters. As we move forward in our lives, whether it is next year here at La Salle or the many places we will spread across the country, let us always remember the value of both a lifelong friendship and a brand new one. Let us always appreciate the people you put into our lives. And let us embrace the serendipity of life.
St. John Baptist de La Salle …. Pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts… forever
Izzy Fleet–Class of 2017