Remember to 'love your neighbor as yourself'

As spring approaches and we look forward to creation’s big, beautiful show of rebirth and rejuvenation, I always am reminded that we, as humans, have the same need and ability. How many of us long for the warm rays of sun on our face, the sound of birds singing their songs of spring and the smell of lilac on the breeze?

Likewise, the desire to energize ourselves for the upcoming projects and adventures of the sunny seasons lies within us all. As an educator, I always have tried to use the experiences of this time of year to demonstrate to students, families and faculty that this is a time to look forward to beginning anew.

This year, in particular, I am blessed to finally, after 34 years in education, enjoy the freedom to discuss this faith in the future and hope that the best is yet to come. For the last 16 years, I posted a sign in my office that read, “Mr. Conley’s Rule: Treat everyone and everything as you would like to be treated.” Of course, this wasn’t my original thought, but was a paraphrase of half of Jesus’ greatest commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Being the director of education of Norwalk Catholic School and St. Paul High School, I can pray with students and talk to them about the faith and hope that we live out each day as Christians. It’s critical that today’s youth understand that there is hope for the future and to have faith that they are blessed with so many gifts to help themselves and others.

Even in these final weeks of cold and snow, we can look at the bare trees and notice the buds swelling with the promise of another shaded summer. In this single, small example, we see reason for hope and have faith that this will indeed happen.

As our seniors begin their final grading period here at St. Paul, my hope is that they will look to this example and remember. Remember that, since their birth, they have been blessed with people who pour love into them every day. Remember that this love has caused them to grow to the point that they will soon become a blessing to those around them. And remember that being a Flyer means to love your neighbor as yourself.