My mother had many words of wisdom. When I was in the seventh grade, my religion teacher wrote a comment on my report card. My mother’s response to her has remained with me all these years and I still think of it occasionally.
My religion teacher wrote,
Mike should be concentrating on taking a more active part in class. He’ll find his future years of study easier if he trains himself to express ideas and opinions orally as well as in writing.
To which my mother wrote,
I’m sure what you say is true. However, I find a quiet, gentle person a rare gift. Too many of the people I encounter are only interested in talking–with as little thinking as possible. Give me the thinkers, those who ponder and the shy doers.
My teacher wrote nothing further during the two remaining review periods that year.
I think I learned more about religion and as it turns out, about life, from my mother’s statement that year than in all the religion classes I had. Not only did I admire her for standing up for me, against a nun even, but all these many years later have proven her right.