A Winter Greeting

February 5, 2013


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Beloved Community,

Greetings from chilly New England where we have returned from a fulfilling holiday break to the gratifying rhythms of our work at Global Round Table Leadership. I hope that your season has been filled with joy, abundance and connection and that this new year finds you thriving with inspiration and the courage to be true.

It feels like such a gift, always, for the turn of the calendar to be accompanied by a slowing of the natural world. Trees and streams are resting, the sky is paused in purple gray and the snow brings a different light to the day and night. As I turn inward at this time to take stock of the past year and dream of the year to come, the pace of the winter season reminds me to take it slowly from the inside out.

These are important times, for ourselves and for our world, worth pausing to consider and cultivate wisdom, and yet there is never a time when this is not the case. In this moment and in all others, we are confronted with the question of how we will contribute to the arc of history, the shape of culture, the experience of our own humanity. This inquiry is both personal and universal; what we do within, we do outwardly. All around us and within us are great joy and great suffering, great beauty and sadness, great hope and undoing, all offering cues for how we should face this question and allow ourselves to be shaped. If we listen carefully, we can hear how the world is calling.

In January we heard the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. echoed on the lips of America’s first black president at his second inauguration:

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth.”

What President Obama knows, and what King knew before him, is that the world is calling for us to step into our integrity and the fullness of our humanity. More than policy, more than regulation, more than money or agenda or strategy, the world needs for us to meet each other eye to eye, as our full selves, in our equality as humans, where our greatest wisdom and collective potential resides.

Melissa, Elli and I of GRTL look forward to meeting you, working with you and playing with you in order to embody the changes we care to see…and BE in this world….now and every day.

Let’s make it an extraordinary and radiant 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements
I am proud and honored to announce my recent acceptance to the Advisory Board for the Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership of the New York University Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, a collaboration between NYU and the Clinton Global Initiative.

This is a groundbreaking academic and programmatic model for multifaith education at the university level. The Institute aims to “cultivate a new generation of young leaders who will transform the world through multifaith bridge building, education and action, reaching across faith boundaries to solve social problems together.” To this end, among other objectives, will be the launching of an academic minor on “Multifaith and Spiritual Leadership.” I am honored to join with an initiative that is committed to practicing the skills and qualities of our humanity, including:

  • wholeness
  • respect within and beyond one’s faith community
  • engagement with religious diversity
  • dialogue
  • community service
  • ethical reasoning
  • personal responsibility and value development

I am also excited to tell you about a new opportunity from my friend and colleague, Zahava Griss. Beginning this month, Zahava launches the Sacred Woman Six-Month Program. The program offers private sessions and group rituals using yoga, dance, energy, massage and health coaching to help women live “sensually empowered lives.” This promises to be a tremendously nourishing experience for mind, body and spirit. Please visit Zahava’s website to learn more.

Global Round Table Leadership is in the process of developing new opportunities for group work and experiential sessions to offer to you, our community. We look forward to reaching back to you soon with the details!

The following is a poem written by a friend we met at last year’s Slow Living Summit in Brattleboro, VT. We offer this to you as a source of inspiration and reflection for today. Enjoy!

Let Us Believe

Let us believe
That the human adventure on planet earth
Will not end in ashes,
But result in jubilation.
That the imperative to love our neighbors
Will come as naturally as breathing in and breathing out.
That the smiles of infants
Will endure to become the radiance of elders.
That people of all colors, races and creeds
Will live together in triumph,
Celebrating their common humanity,
Rejoicing in the bounty of the earth,
Exulting in sunrise and sunset,
In majesty of mountain and rapture of ocean,
In wonder for all life,
All good, all connected, all essential.
That animosities and ignorance
Will dissolve like mist in the morning,
And no one will have reason to hate
Because we will know at last
That we are one people, one planet.

Bill Pearson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While they were saying it couldn't be done, it was done.
— Helen Keller