It was my honor to spend part of my day attending the life celebration for Mary Ann Knight, who taught music at Shorter for 45 years and was one of the kindest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Again and again throughout the tribute, comments were made about Mary Ann’s positive encouragement, about the way she talked about the best in individuals until they somehow found themselves living up to her expectations. She treated each person with a kind attention that made them feel important and treasured. She had a remarkable gift, and she shared it with others freely.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have some really good role models–parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, mentors, coworkers, friends. As I grow older, I find myself recognizing parts of each one of them in my actions and in my interactions. I make a comment and realize I sounded just like ____, the answer of course varying based on circumstances.
It would serve me well to mirror some of Mary Ann’s traits — beginning and ending with the positive and sandwiching only constructive criticism in between. Caring for–not just about–young coworkers. Truly touching the lives of students in ways that transcend a few brief years.
I am thankful for the beauty and friendship she added to my world and pray I will be able to do the same for others.