(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 13 April 2018)

Good morning La Salle.

Let us remember that we are in the presence of God.

Today is Friday the thirteenth. People get nervous about this, because thirteen is unlucky. But how much should we let this number dictate how our day will go?

I remember when the first SAT scores for my grade came out some time early last year. People were asking each other what they got. For some reason, this number mattered to us. To the kid who got an almost perfect score, it wasn’t good enough. To the kid who got just what they needed to get into their dream school, it was their saving grace. Some people’s numbers inspired them to study harder and do better. Others were happy with what they got. Each number can mean something different to everybody. They can be motivating. But they can also be destructive.

I run competitively. Sometimes I’ll have a race that just doesn’t go my way. I might be off my time by a few seconds. Those few seconds can be the difference between confidence and self-doubt. It’s hard for me to remember all the good races I have had when I have a bad one.

Everyone does this sort of thing. Like when you get a bad grade on a test, you immediately forget about getting all-honors last semester, because YOU JUST BOMBED IT! But, you have to take a step back and think about it. Are people going to be at your funeral saying, “jeez, they were a nice person and all, but they failed that history test in junior year, what a failure”? NO! People are going to remember you for who you are. And who you are is not defined by your grades or any other number.

I recently deleted Instagram. I have about a thousand followers on it. For some people, that’s a lot. For others, it’s not even half of what they have. But what really stresses me out is the amount of likes I get on a photo. I’m sure I’m not alone when I think about deleting a post because it got a poor amount of likes. You know that first half hour after you post a photo, and you’re constantly refreshing the amount of likes you have? If it’s too low, you get anxious. And then you also have to worry about what time you post, because you’ll get more likes if you post in the evening. If I don’t get a lot of likes, I immediately assume that something is wrong with me, or people don’t like me.

We have to remember that numbers are nice to use as tools, to see where we are, or to quantify goals. But numbers are not our self worth. We are more than our grades, our SAT scores, or the amount of colleges we got into.

Could we instead focus on numbers that make us feel good? How about the number of people that smiled at you today? Or the number of good deeds you have done? I like these numbers a lot better. Each one represents a positive impact on someone’s life. And we should be striving to make that impact as big as possible.

So before you judge someone who did worse on a test than you, or someone who doesn’t have as many followers as you, stop and think. If you are more than those numbers, then they are more than those numbers, too. Each person is too unique and amazing to be summed up by a bunch of numbers. It is all these qualitative, not quantitative, ideas, about humanity that makes us awesome. So let’s keep being awesome.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…. Pray for us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…. forever.

Grace Connolly–Class of 2018

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