What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Marilyn Mosby Chose Wisely

While I was scouring the Internet for more information about Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for Baltimore City, I saw a link to Daily Kos. Whenever I see Daily Kos, I always click on the link and read the blog, which I did. The essay's title was More on Marilyn Mosby .

At the end of the blog, a clipping from the Washington Post mentioned Mosby when she was a young child. Her mother was in court suing the property owner due to Mosby having cut her knee on some glass debris. The judge, who was hearing her mother's suit, said to Mosby, who was 6-years-old at the time, "Hi, little girl. What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Mosby's retort was, "A judge."

Additionally, Mosby had a 17-year-old cousin who was shot and killed as a result of a mistaken identity. At the time, she was 14. Apparently, her interest in the law can be traced back to her formative years.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, announces criminal charges Friday against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody.  (Alex Brandon/AP)

Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for Baltimore City

I have written about Mosby's actions in the Freddie Gray killing. However, in this essay, I want to discuss something that we all need to grasp. Pain of any sort has a very positive aspect if addressed. In football, there is an old saying, "No pain, no gain." Pain, if addressed, can enable us to grow and actually reap benefits from dealing with some sort of pain.

Little children learn to be careful around hot objects like food and stoves. Feeling a little pain and addressing it will teach them to be careful. However, as adults, we need to recognize that any sort of pain can cause us to respond. The question is what is our response?

Often, our human tendency is to avoid pain and attempt to put the pain behind us when it occurs. We do that thinking that we can avoid the pain. However, that action blocks learning. On the other hand, we can address the pain, which will benefit us. It is a simple but a critical choice.

Marilyn Mosby Prince

Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for Baltimore City

I have never met Ms. Mosby, and, until the Freddie Gray matter, I never heard of her. Having said that, I have added her to my list of people with whom I would love to interview. In the meantime, I am certain that I can name several critical pains that face her every day, and it is obvious that she is motivated to address these pains.

  • The first pain is racism. The issue of racism has been a part of American history going back to the first settlers in Jamestown. We fought the Civil War over slavery and racism. Then 150-years after ending slavery, we are still dealing with issues related to racism.
  • Another pain is sexism. The issue of sexism has been around for many millennia before racism. Women, by virtue of birth, are also discriminated against due merely to their sex. Women are still a long ways away from equality with men.
  • Finally, another pain is her age. We think that the older one is the more capable one is. Mosby is in her mid-30s. Hence, some will view her as not having enough experience and a mere novice.

Additionally, there are two incidences mentioned in the Washington Post article also related to pain. Therefore, my essay has two additional foci. The first is to present how the various pains that Mosby has faced in life have actually benefited her. While she did not go out looking for a pain, she addressed them when the pains came to her. Therefore, we have learned about someone who is courageous. The following is an informal family picture of Ms. Mosby. Things in America are changing for the better. I am proud of them.

Marilyn Mosby Prince

Mosby, her husband along with their two children

Also, the other reason for this article is to empower my readers to emulate Mosby's drive in addressing pain. We do not have to look for various forms of pain. Pain will find its way to your front door. However, instead of avoiding the pain, we all need to realize that the pain that is knocking on our door can motivate each of us to learn how to deal with it directly, which will benefit us.

I have danced with death twice. One time I fell off a ladder and had a traumatic brain injury, and the other time was prostate cancer. While I would not want to revisit either of those pains, I would not delete either from my life. I understand about what dancing with death does in a positive way for me. The list of people who have also danced with death is long. Steve Jobs, Randy Pausch, Kurt Vonnegut, Abraham Lincoln, Alan Seeger, Saul Alinsky, Henry David Thoreau, Oliver Sacks, and the list goes on.

When pain comes into your life, you will have two options. You can attempt merely to avoid the issue. The alternative is to plan a means by which you can turn the pain into something that will benefit you at the end of the day. Pain hurts. Granted. However, if you seize the initiative, pain will be put on the defense. As Professor Keating told his students, " Carpe diem ."

If you listen carefully, you can hear Ms. Mosby also saying, "Carpe diem."


Ms. Mosby learned the lesson well taught by Professor Keating.