I worked my first full-time summer job at a glue factory when I was 18 years old. Most of the other guys carpooled to work from the inner city. I came from a suburb up the hill and a good ways up the socioeconomic scale. I did not know when I first punched the clock that I was enrolling in a course more important than any I would soon take in college.
I was away on a retreat recently when the mirror surprised me. Normally, I can hardly bear to see my own face in the mornings, so it was only by chance that I happened to glance into the mirror as I turned on the light switch. There was my face looking back at me. My wet hair was sticking up every which way, and water was trickling down the side of my nose. And I was smiling.