Who We Can Be – April 20, 2022

Posted on: April 20th, 2022 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Power

by Kathie England

A few days ago I started rereading Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett. I had started this book when it first came out in 2016. I don’t remember why I stopped reading it.

Today it seems even more relevant and connects beautifully with this month’s theme, Power.

Krista shares the perspective of her grandfather about the purpose of humans. “We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world.”

She continues. “It’s a very important story for our times. This task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world.” How desperately we need this perspective right now!

This is a collective task! “It involves all people who have ever been born, all people presently alive, all people yet to be born. We are all healers of the world. That story opens a sense of possibility. It’s not about healing the world by making a huge difference. It’s about healing the world that touches you, that’s around you.”

She emphasizes this possibility exists in the world to which we have proximity!

“That’s where our power is!”

 “We are exactly what’s needed. And to just wonder about that a little: what if we are exactly what’s needed? What then? How would I live if I was exactly what’s needed to heal the world?”

This perspective echoes the words delivered by Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, on April 13 to the Atlantic Council, “We ought not wait for a new normal. We should begin to shape a better future today.”

This perspective seems especially important as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2022!

This perspective captures the theme of my blogs from January 2017 to December 2020 – the power of small steps to create profound change.

Who We Can Be – March 20, 2022

Posted on: March 20th, 2022 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Perspective

by Kathie England

Ants! Last fall our home, starting in our kitchen, seemed to be invaded by ants. We have lived here for nearly 30 years and ants have never been a problem. Before Christmas, we even hired a pest control company to help eradicate them. But, they have returned and we have found them in our guest bathroom and laundry room, as well as the kitchen (so far).

They’ve become almost a daily annoyance for us!

Then last Monday, March 14, I received an email from a former client. She was born in Kyiv, as were her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. She described what’s happening in her homeland as though 9/11 was being re-lived every day for the past three weeks. People ripped from their home! Kids spending terrifying nights in cold underground shelters, hungry and afraid!

Perspective! That’s the word that came to mind! Our ants are so trivial compared to what the people of Ukraine face daily. More than 3 million people have become refugees. More than 6 million have been displaced from their homes. (That total number is about one-quarter of the population of California.) And yet, the people of Ukraine continue to defend their land and fight to preserve democracy!

I made a small likeness of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag with the word PERSPECTIVE typed across the middle to remind me of how minor all my complaints are every day!! It sits on my desktop next to the photo of a small Ukrainian girl carrying a small Ukrainian flag with the following words above her picture, “I’ll pay a little more for gas for her…”

I made a donation to Mercy Corps and even to the group my former client is supporting in Ukraine. That effort seems so small!

Then last night Bob found a picture that provides a powerful image illustrating the number of children in Ukraine who have been killed so far. Take a look at this link

My former client wrote: “The Ukrainian people are strong, they have resolve, and they will win this war, but they need our help.”

Who can we be? We can be people with PERSPECTIVE! As we live in a warm home, with plenty of food, and more ants than we’d like.

May we each embrace PERSPECTIVE in our own lives, find hope, and offer whatever form of help we can to the brave people of Ukraine!

 

Who We Can Be – February 20, 2022

Posted on: February 20th, 2022 by Kathie England | Time for Success 2 Comments

Inspired by a Poet

by Kathie England

Reading one poem a day is a new habit I started to develop last year.

I am currently reading poems by Amanda Gorman who became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at the inauguration of an American president. On January 20, 2021, the inauguration of President Biden, she shared her poem “The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country.”

One of my favorite inaugural memories was watching Robert Frost share his poetry at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. At age 86, Frost was the first poet ever to speak at the inauguration of a president, reciting from memory “The Gift Outright,” when the glare of the sun prevented him from reading “Dedication,” a poem he had written specially for the occasion.

On January 20, 2009, Elizabeth Alexander shared her poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

What does inviting a poet to his inauguration say about these three presidents?

Gorman’s newest book of poems is Call Us What We Carry. Its book jacket states, “Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, these poems shine a light on a moment of reckoning and reveal that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.”

Here is one of my favorite poems so far in this book.

Every Day We Are Learning

Every day we are learning

How to live with essence, not ease.

How to move with haste, never hate.

How to leave this pain that is beyond us

Behind us.

Just like a skill or any art,

We cannot possess hope without practicing it.

It is the most fundamental craft we demand of ourselves.

 

May we each find hope and be inspired by a poet and be Who We Can Be!

 

Who We Can Be – January 20, 2022

Posted on: January 20th, 2022 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Faith

by Kathie England

“Faith is believing what you haven’t seen.” That’s how Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, defined faith in his November 2021 interview by Krista Tippett. https://onbeing.org/programs/bryan-stevenson-finding-the-courage-for-whats-redemptive/

Stevenson also stated that educating oneself is an action item.

Today with democracy under daily attack in this country, one step towards educating ourselves is reading the daily posts of Heather Cox Richardson, American historian and professor of history at Boston College. https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/(an act of faith)

Nearly every post provides perspective about what is at stake today in America, the nature of our government. Her January 5, 2022 post asked whether we will restore the principles on which the Founders (flawed though many of them were) based this nation: “that all men are created equal” and that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed…” 

We know that voting rights are under attack across this country. One small step to protect this right is making a regular donation to www.VoteSaveAmerica.com/donate. (an act of faith)

Remember the words of John Lewis, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” (an act of faith)

Let us remember the words of playwright Naomi Wallace, “To keep democracy alive, you have to wrestle with it day and night just to keep its eyes open, just to keep it awake.” (an act of faith) https://www.naomiwallace.com/bio

May we embrace the perspectives of Bryan Stevenson, Heather Cox Richardson, John Lewis, Vote Save America, and Naomi Wallace to find the courage to take many small steps in 2022 and be Who We Can Be! What are your action items? What is your act of faith?

Who We Can Be – December 20, 2021

Posted on: December 20th, 2021 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Who can we be as we look toward 2022?

by Kathie England

2021, like 2020, was not an easy year in so many ways! My posts during the second half of this year focused on the devastating effects of the climate crisis to our planet, like the temperature of 116 degrees experienced in Portland, Oregon on June 28. Though the pandemic is not over yet, many of us are very grateful for the vaccines and booster shots that are making it possible to be with family for the holiday season and even attend live theatre and concerts.

Last year the On Being podcast inspired me to modify the Prayer of St. Francis, the Prayer of Peace, to include a loving kindness meditation. My goal was to make it more inclusive to better connect with individuals of diverse beliefs and cultures. I am continuing this tradition for 2021.

As we celebrated Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, I launched my new project Who We Can Be.  As we look forward to 2022, I believe it continues to be important to ask these powerful questions: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

The title Who We Can Be was inspired by Krista Tippett’s On Being interview with Karen Murphy, the Director of International Strategy at Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit educational and professional development organization.

May this Loving Kindness Meditation inspire us to continue to imagine what is possible and to discover Who We Can Be!

Make me an instrument of peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring love.

Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.

Where there is discord, let me bring union.

Where there is error, let me bring truth.

Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.

Where there is despair, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness, let me bring light.

Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

 

May I not seek as much to be consoled, as to console.

May I seek not as much to be understood, as to understand.

May I seek not as much to be loved, as to love.

May it be in giving that I learn to receive.

May it be in pardoning that I allow myself to be pardoned.

 

May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.

May we embrace this message to help find the courage to take many small steps in 2022 and to be Who We Can Be!