August 14, 2020

Serra Club Vocations Essay

Student’s change in perspective leads to service of those in need

By Michael Cavosie (Special to The Criterion)

Michael CavosieRecently, I have been working on becoming more compassionate and accepting of all different types of people and their backgrounds. Before, I had been close-minded to people who were different from me.

A few years ago, I took a serious look into my faith and what it meant to me. I devoted my time to reading the Scriptures and attending service. But where I failed was when I tried to put the teachings into practice. I remember thinking when I saw someone on the side of the road that they were dirty, unclean, and even unworthy of my support. One of the prime teachings is being compassionate toward others, but I wasn’t.

The same year, I enrolled in a public grade school. This was a large change from my very small Catholic school roots. At School #60, the majority of students were dealing with poverty. My same ideals still lingered in my head until one day, when I was in the office sick, I overheard the principals talking about a classmate.

They weren’t talking about his grades, and he wasn’t in trouble. They were worried because he hadn’t shown up to school in a few days. He was caring for his grandma while his parents were working in order to pay for food.

When I heard this conversation taking place, my entire perspective on people changed. I realized that people who are in need of help aren’t needy because of something they had done. I felt ashamed that I had even conceived this to be true in the first place.

Years later, I moved back to a Catholic school for eighth grade. During the first month, I realized how lucky I was to attend a private school.

In school, we were tasked with putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and thinking what Jesus would do. When I reflected on my actions, I realized that I hadn’t really done anything for anyone in need. Since realizing this, I have dedicated everything to help as many people as possible.

I started to ponder how I would be able to do this. I knew I wasn’t in a position of power to affect millions of people, but I could start with people I knew. I listened to as many people as possible when they needed someone to listen. I forgave people who were held in my grudges. But once I did this, I didn’t feel satisfied with the amount of people I helped.

After that, I decided to work at the Society of St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry in Indianapolis as often as I could. I only worked with the people who shopped there because I wanted to see who they were and what their stories were. I ended up serving a total of 50 hours at the pantry.

I feel that serving others and helping as many people as possible is what we should be called to do in all circumstances, regardless of religion, culture or background. God calls on every one of us to help one another. Proverbs 19:17 says that “whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” This is an excellent example of one of the many times God has called us to serve our brothers.

(Michael and his mother, Dana Cavosie, are members of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus [Little Flower] Parish in Indianapolis. He completed the ninth grade at Cathedral High School this spring and is the ninth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2020 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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