Often times people ask me, “Steve, what did you learn from attending Holy Name and growing up in Windsor Terrace?”
To be honest, I have to stop and think for a minute before I give them an answer.
The lessons taught, or attempted to be taught, didn’t always sink in.
I had teachers, coaches and adults from the neighborhood always giving me great advice. Always trying to teach me right from wrong.
It wasn’t until my late 20’s, into my early 30’s that I realized there were many valuable lessons being passed my way as a kid by all these wonderful people.
Only problem was I refused to buy in.
One lesson that every teacher at Holy Name tried to teach me was the habit of reading. I hated picking up a book as a kid.
Now? Forget about it!
I can’t go a single day without picking up a book and reading. Matter of fact, I can now read an entire book in one week.
I’m addicted to reading!
Miss Monzillo would be so proud of me.
Recently I came across a great book written by Hal Urban, “Life’s Greatest Lessons”. Urban writes about what’s essential in life:
1-Choosing a Good Attitude: I wish I had taken this route. Oftentimes I displayed an awful attitude as a kid. I’m glad I saw the light and turned the corner. Urban talks about keeping a positive attitude and always being thankful. At times that might be tough to do because of the world we live in but I have found when we do keep a positive attitude, things feel a lot better.
2-Respect: HA! I was one of the most disrespectful kids around. Building your life on a foundation of respect is vital to your character. In the 6th grade while playing for Holy Name and a great coach in Joe ‘Fonz’ Farrell, I recall a Saturday morning basketball game at OLPH where I fouled out. As I was walking off the court a fan said something to me while I was arguing with the ref. I looked back and told the fan to “fuck off” before taking a seat on the bench. Today I respect all…
3-Integrity: Oh boy. You want to talk honesty? You don’t know how many times I cheated on exams at Holy Name. I was caught one time and got smacked across the head by Miss Lynn. Or, the many times I used the ‘5 Finger discount’ at Rae and Otto’s. Looking back on those days I’m not proud of any of those moments.
4-Hard Work: Damn it! If I had only worked harder as a teenager and understood the importance of accepting difficulties and the challenges I faced. When my cousin Brian put me to work scooping Ice Cream at Sunberry I lasted 2 days. I could have used the work ethic that my mother and her father Ray Corbett possessed.
5-Learning: A passion to learn was something I lacked too. I didn’t care about anything but basketball. School was never important to me. Loving others was invisible in my life. I had outstanding teachers at Holy Name. Miss Hertell my 8th grade teacher tried very hard to get me to pay attention. Someone once said, “Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn.”
6-Enjoy Life: I thought I was enjoying life but it was just the opposite. Deep down I was miserable. I put up a facade. It was all fake. My smile was fraudulent. Today though I enjoy every waking moment. I love my daughter and wife. I am thankful to be healthy and vibrant each and every hour of the day. I also enjoy the friendships I have nurtured over the years with all the outstanding people from Windsor Terrace.