The Fruit Lady

A motto often associated with Jesuit and Marymount schools is ‘‘Educating men and women for others.’’ Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the former head of the Jesuits, once said that ‘‘our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others, who believe that a love of self or of God which does not issue forth in justice for the least of their neighbors is a farce.’’ What do you think Fr. Arrupe meant when he said this? Please give an example of someone you know, other than your teachers and parents, who works for justice for the least of their neighbors.

Driving down the streets of Arcadia, there were certain landmarks that reminded me that I was home— the grandiose library, the iconic windmill-themed restaurant, and at last but not least, the lady who stood at the end of my street. Committed, she braved scorchingly hot and bitingly cold weather, equipped with her cart, umbrella, and beach chair, as she promoted healthy eating within our neighborhood and worked earnestly to provide for her children back home. She was the fruit lady.

I recall pestering my mom about this woman, for her being there every single day astounded me. I wondered if she got bored, felt tired, or even liked her job. So one day, I had mustered up the courage to talk to Fruit Lady. I vaguely remember the whole conversation, let alone her name, but I vividly remember bits and pieces that still lie with me today: “I love this job because it makes me good, ” and although what she meant by “good” was unclear to me at first, the way she defined it in her elaboration is what struck me hardest. “I am a good mother because I provide, and the people in this neighborhood— they are good to me. They give me jobs sometimes, and I give them hard work.”

What Fr. Pedro Arrupe means in his statement is that a love of god...

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