Thursday, May 3, 2007

envy and humility

The semester here is almost over, so transitions are going on everywhere. Seniors are about to graduate, looking ahead to jobs or grad school or travel or volunteer programs. Students who have been studying abroad are coming home, and students who will be studying abroad are preparing to be gone for a semester or a year. We're interviewing new people for open positions, and saying goodbye to people who are leaving them open. I am loath to admit it, but one of the emotions I have been feeling in all of it, with some consistency, is envy: envy at the chance to spend a semester touring Europe, to be 24 and done with a master's degree, to be off to El Salvador for school. I can't even figure it out, since I have my own set of enviable blessings this summer and next year: a month of immersion in Haiti, another solid month of reading and thinking at Notre Dame, the conclusion of my master's work, teaching in the fall, openness to doctoral work down the road (whenever I am ready, I suspect). Is this something wrong with me, or is it another part of the tangle of illusions and desires that is the human condition? No matter how much I have, I can always find someone to envy. Lord, save me from my own voracious ego, from my need to be more, have more, do more.
Mercy within mercy within mercy...