Growing up in South Boston, Massachusetts, Saint Paddy’s Day was a day in which all the schools and businesses, other than the bars and package stores, were closed. The annual St. Paddy’s Day parade was a celebration of the Irish heritage Southie folks were so proud to claim. The standard activity included the Kennedy’s in their convertible waving at all who were wearing the green, felt hats, felt ties, etc. with green beer and green mashed potatoes easily acquired. Chairs were set up for those who couldn’t stand for long periods, and rows and rows deep of people somehow all got along waiting for individual bands, troupes, and celebrities to pass by.

Looking at all that now through objective memory, knowing the great and not-so-great elements of the events that occurred, what I experience most is the history of a community, of pride in who we were. For most, our best selves came out. We were all one, even if just for the day.

During that time, we didn’t have to “try” to have community; it naturally existed. Sadly now, I see how much effort goes into various towns trying to create that sense of community. Without the very active churches, which also encouraged ethnic pride and parish pride, community seems to be lost for so many.

The pandemic certainly took a sad situation and made it even worse in so many ways. However, many of us have also come to see, again, that we are all in this together. We need each other. Not just the elderly and the very young, but all of us.

Community reminds us we are not alone. It reminds us that someone is there if needed. It also reminds us that loving others, appreciating others, and doing small and yet wonderful deeds for another, causes us to feel so good about ourselves. It brings out the connection we all need, with our best selves able to laugh, to see each other, and to instinctively support those in need.

Watching what is happening in the Ukraine, and in all those countries who want to help and support the refugees, reminds us that community is still there.

My prayer is that we are each able to create it, support it, and embrace it, even in times of peace, warm weather, and sunshine. It needs to be a state of being not simply a tool in a time of crisis. We all need it. Today and every day.

Wishing you a blessed week, a warm and funny community, and the experience of truly being seen, appreciated, and welcomed.


About Dorothy

Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.