Before Paulo Coelho, JK Rowling, Bob Ong, Dave Peltzer, Arun Gogna invaded the seminary, there was first Robert Fulghum.
In his magnum opus, entitled "All I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten," he outlined lessons, which were not taught to him by his professors in the graduate school, but learned in his lowly kindergarten class.
These are some of the things he learned:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don't hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don't take things that aren't yours.
- Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Live a balanced life.
- Be aware of wonder.
I am reminded of this when I was having my personal spiritual reading on the life of Savio the other day, and reached that episode when he sought the help of St. John Bosco to help him attain sanctity.
Don Bosco told Dominic that in his school, to become a saint, one needs to be cheerful. The former made the latter realize that to be genuinely holy, one needs to be a real human person first. The age we are in may be characterized by immediacy: think of pancit canton ready in just three minutes, when antique furniture could be manufactured while you wait, we come to realize that "instant" does not apply in the process of sanctity.
We cannot short circuit the process.
Here in the seminary, we have to learn how to become human first. And when we have mastered that lesson: when we are able to say sorry, inculcate discipline, develop the habit of denying ourselves; the task of becoming a saint will just be some corners away.In our quest to reach sanctity, let us be first true to our humanity.