Do you remember those school reports you receive once a year? Mine would usually say ‘could do better if she would speak more.’ It was more or less the same every year. I was a pleasant student but was very quiet.
In my final year of school i went to see the careers adviser. She asked me what i would like to do once i had finished school. I said i would like to be a nurse, her reply ‘are you sure? are you sure you wouldn’t rather do a secretarial course or maybe i could get a job in one of the sewing mills.’ My dad worked most of my life in one mill or other and my mother was a school cleaner so i wasn’t seen as good for anything else. I trained to be a nurse, i even passed every exam first time and came third from the top in my hospital exams.
However does being ‘of good report’ really mean how well you have done at school? I think not!
Go back if you will just 40 years, i would have been 9. When i was 9 i was not allowed to wear jeans, jeans were for workmen my mother used to tell me and she was right. Now go back 70 years. You can’t remember that far, that is okay i can’t either, but my mother was 12. Unfortunately by the time my mother was 12 her mother had died from heart failure, but my mother tells me about a grandmother who would wear Spanish heels, always dressed in a skirt or a dress and if she was going out it was hat, gloves and a handbag too.
Is this what it means to be ‘of good report?’
Today most young people can become anything they want to be, providing they are willing to work hard for it. Also most women will own several pairs of jeans and wear them often and unfortunately the only time you see a woman in hat and gloves is usually at a wedding. So being of good report needs to mean something more.
For me it means that we should do good every day. We should share our bounty with those around us. I am not just talking money but our skills and our talents so that one day someone will give a ‘good report’ of us and of what we have been doing. It is not good enough to do something just once it is important that we continue to look for ways in which we can serve every day and do so when the occasions arise. We should also be grateful for what we have and remember to say thank you. Saying thank you not only lifts the receiver of the gift but also the giver.
Think small. Think close to home. What would the people you live with think if you did something for them? Get involved with something bigger. Be of Good report.