Caroline Hunter was a Life Together intern from 2009-2010. She served at the Irish International Immigration Center in downtown Boston, through which she helped run an ESOL Program and taught English at a community center in Mattapan. During her time in the Life Together program, she enjoyed learning what it means to respect others for who they are, and about how to articulate her beliefs. She gives her warm regards in this oncoming fall season to the interns, fellows, and alumni who make up the extended Life Together community.
One saying I learned in the Life Together program has been echoing through my head this fall, six years after I started my year at 40 Prescott Street: "Your calling is to work where your greatest desire and the world's deepest need intersect."
Even as an employee at a 70,000-strong technology corporation, and as an MBA student a little halfway past done with my degree, this phrase speaks urgently to me. I have not figured out what I want to do with my life. Sometimes the world's tragedies still seem so many - war, racism, sexual violence, mental illness, hunger, lack of upward mobility, political gridlock - that I question what my desire and prayers for peace can ever accomplish. Yes, I want to be a person whose faith draws her to righteous, loving action. But when I'm running back and forth between a high tech office during the day and income statements at night, that kind of action admittedly feels unreachable.
But I still wear the t-shirt that I got as a Life Together intern to the company gym. It's bright red, and has a homemade white logo on the back that says "Hope in Action." In my class this fall, "Leading Organizational Change," I brought up Pope Francis as an example of a leader of change I admire.
My message for the interns who have just started their Life Together journey is one of my favorite business school lessons - one that is quite compatible with living a life in which you "go far together." It's that you don't have to be a faith action hero all of the time. Sometimes, it can feel good to be a hero; yet you can live a life of real impact by celebrating others'small wins and your own. Half of the power of faith is what you bring to it - your failings, your unrealized hopes, your humor, your skepticism. Love yourself for having faith despite these struggles. You're going to go far. And I'm still with you on the path.