Begin Again

By Joseph J. Mazzella • March 11, 2019

Ring! Ring! Ring! It was early in the morning and I knew who was calling as I dejectedly reached for the telephone. I was a new substitute teacher struggling to earn enough to support my young family. Each morning I waited for a call that would take me to a different classroom that day. The last three of them had all been determined to test the teacher and see just how much bad behavior they could get away with. I had responded by being critical and angry with the students. I didn't really want to go to work that morning then, especially since it was my birthday.

Still, I answered the phone and took the job. My family needed the money and I couldn't afford to be picky. As I was driving to work, however, I decided that I was going to begin again to be the best teacher I could be. As school started the students once again were set to see what they could get away with. This time, though, I was firm but fair with them. I did my best to make the lessons fun. I shared smiles, complemented their hard work, and encouraged them in their efforts. The effect was amazing. My unruly classroom was soon transformed. Students were laughing and learning and I finally felt like I was doing my job right. I went home happy in my heart and enjoyed the rest of my birthday with my family.

In THE BOOK OF JOY Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama wrote: "Every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Every day is your birthday." Isn't it wonderful that God loves us all so much that He gives us a new beginning, a fresh opportunity, and a new birthday each day of our lives? Every day we are given another chance to get things right, to live our lives with love and joy, and to make this world a better place. Don't waste a single day then. Every morning arise and begin once again to be the best you, you can be.


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