Why Uniforms?

Morning Prayer:
August 30, 2016
Prayer by Ms. Perrin Rains, English Department

I love uniforms.  They’re simple.  When you put on a uniform before school, you save yourself tons of time, and energy.  I don’t know about you, but those are two things that I never have enough of in the morning.  I love uniforms because they help you practice dressing neatly for a career in a profession one day.  I love that they make you look scholarly and serious about your studies.

I’m proud to work at Marist, where we ask our students to wear uniforms.  And, not just for the reasons I already mentioned.  The word “uniform” comes from the Latin “uni,” meaning “one,” and “formis,” meaning “shape.”  Things that are uniform have one shape.  They are constant.  Unvarying.  So, I love that our uniforms help blur some of our differences and make it harder, at least for a little while, to figure out who belongs in which clique.  I love that our uniforms challenge you to express who you are as a person in an authentic way.  Now, I know, you’re probably outraged right now at the suggestion that your uniform actually helps you express yourself, but bear with me.  Your uniform takes away your ability to show others your interests through your style choices.  So, you can’t rely on superficial things like brand names, and piercings, and jerseys, to show everyone else what you like or dislike.  Instead, when you’re in uniform, you have to show other people who you are.  Are you a competitive athlete?  We won’t know until you show us by training beyond what Coach asks of you.  Are you a performer?  We won’t know until you sing for us in Woodruff.  Are you intelligent?  We won’t know until you ask a really interesting question in class.  Are you a nice?  Are you a good friend?  Are you honest?  You have to show us.  Uniforms push us to be more fully ourselves, and more fully who God calls us to be as individuals.

But, at the same time, our constant, unvarying uniforms are an outward reminder that we are one family here.  You, in your simple, tidy uniform are no more valuable and no less valuable than anyone else here.  You are fully and really part of this community.  You belong here.  And when you put on your Marist uniform every morning, you are stepping into the community and traditions of three generations of Marist students who have come before you.  When you put on your uniform, you are accepting the responsibilities and opportunities that have been given to you through the hard work and sacrifice of your parents and families.

Let us pray.

God, thank you for giving us the opportunity to come to Marist and wear its uniform every day.  Please give us courage to show others who we really are through our actions and our words.  And, help us to be the people our uniforms call us to be today – simple and authentic.

Amen.

Mary, seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

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