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Letter: Perhaps pope’s visit will inspire reflection

Perhaps pope’s visit will inspire reflection

Reaching midlife can afford one, at times, the opportunity to step back and catch a glimpse of enduring values and principles, that is, truths. I recently had one of those reflective moments involving two of my grandchildren, both between the ages of 1 and 2. When one went to play with a toy belonging to the other, the “owner” child reacted. As usual, mom and dad quickly intervened, instructing and demonstrating the necessity of “sharing.” But this time, as I watched the scene of “mine, mine … no, honey, you must share,” I suddenly caught a glimpse of myself.

It struck me that I am, analogously, a toddler who is unreflectively driven to pursue my own interests and to possess. Yet as a young child my parents taught me to share. At this stage of my life, shouldn’t this principle be well-developed and evident in how I interact with those around me, those who don’t have what I have or simply want a share in what I have?

Other questions ensued. How is it that I have failed to allow this value of sharing to mature and bear more fruit in the way I live my life? Do we have a societal responsibility toward the indigent and marginalized? Can it really be the case that the principle of justice is incompatible with the duty to be our brothers’ keepers, as some would have it? What is the truth?

Perhaps in the visit of Pope Francis, I and others will once again hear a parental voice gently instructing us to “do well,” that is, to share.

Michael Sherry

Orchard Park