With a racing mind on a sleepless night I found myself thinking about faith as a child. I was chosen by my parents to be raised a good catholic girl through baptism and beyond. I have memories of my Italian mother teaching religion classes to children despite her broken English, limited reading ability, and imperfect understanding of the religious fundamentals. In my household, we attended mass every Sunday with a guarantee reminiscent of the postal service creed “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom”, you get the gist. I’m not sure if it was fear or faith but we were there. Each ride to church followed the predictable pattern of my father cursing at the car who just cut-him-off, stopped short, paraded in his now slow lane, or stole his parking spot. We’d spend an hour listening, rising and kneeling, barely singing under our breaths even though we knew every word and still do. When the hour was over and our souls were polished enough for the heavens we stepped out into the light of reality and the fresh sheen quickly wore off. The ride home mirrored the ride in. As my siblings and I grew older we were trusted by my parents to attend church on our own which we seldom did. Instead we’d hide in the Target parking lot because it was the only store back-in-the-day open past 5pm anywhere on earth. To this day, every member of my family still carries internal faith. It may not be in the form of Sunday mass but we recognize and appreciate the bounties bestowed upon us by the Universe, the Sun, Mother Nature, the Creator, God or whatever label you prefer. We grew up to be kind people. We are all understanding and loving. I wouldn’t change our upbringing as it contributes to who we are today. Whatever your upbringing or religious affiliation, be kind to others. Speak in truth without harm. Be honest with yourself and those who surround you. Try not to take things so personally. Ask questions instead of making assumptions. Familiarize yourself with the unfamiliar and always strive to do your best. I have faith you won’t fail!