Living and Growing: The key to joy in Juneau is humility

We live out the sense of community in a way that might be helpful for our nation.

Tari Stage-Harvey

Tari Stage-Harvey

By Tari Stage-Harvey

Half of the stores in town had empty shelves where the lettuce should be and then I gave up; it’s hard to get that motivated to keep looking for leafy greens.

There are many things I love about my town, and now I can add the joy it brings me to think about a sudden run on salad. Did we all realize at the same time that we had to serve something besides more comfort food? My guess is that the shipment froze, but I like the idea of everyone in Juneau rushing to Fred’s to stock up on arugula.

I love my city. I love not only her extreme beauty but her moodiness and melancholy, as well. I love that I know sex slaves and drug dealers as well as millionaires. I love that I refrain from yelling at incompetent drivers because they might be the one giving me my next gynecological exam.

Juneau lives out the sense of community in a way that might be helpful for our nation. We know we are dependent on each other, so when you have a flat tire, you don’t talk politics, you are just thankful someone is willing to help. You can choose to be a jerk, but at some point you burn all your bridges and life becomes nearly impossible and leaving is too expensive, so you have to learn humility and apologizing.

Maybe that’s what I’ve learned the most from living here and would offer to others — humility. Know when you are wrong and know when not to gloat. I love that the word humility is derived from the Latin humus, for dirt.

“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Those words are spoken every Ash Wednesday as we remember our mortality and the perspective it gives us for life. Humility — you are not god and we all are grounded in the dirt. We share this ground beneath us, and if nothing else, that is enough.

Tari Stage-Harvey is pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.

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