Wednesday, May 24, 2006
4:59 pm edt
We worked with a colleague once who had been told by her boss that she was "easily underestimated." She was a steady,
quiet worker who got the job done, but was not "flashy" or easily identified as the outstanding leader she was. As people
got to know her, they recognized her strengths and ability as a skilled communicator, and their first impression and assessment
of her shifted. What she did spoke more loudly and persuasively than what she said or how she spoke. She was not one
to draw attention to herself. She was indeed "easily underestimated," but she was very much to be taken seriously.
Have you "easily underestimated" what your contributions have been to others and to our efforts toward peace? If you
are looking for the spotlight to fall on you, and it seems to have not appeared, don't underestimate what you have done out
of the spotlight. In fact, what you have done just by being yourself may have made a difference in another's
opinion, beliefs, confidence and engagement in peace work. You never know. You may make a difference even if you
can't see it, hear it, feel it, or touch it.
You can easily underestimate your contribution. You are part of the network of peaceworkers and the peace movement, regardless.
Even more, you are a gift of peace,no doubt, to many, and we recognize and appreciate your contribution daily. You give
us hope just by being who you are, and by working for and toward peace in your own life, thoughts, efforts and faith in the
vision and accomplishment of peace every day.
So peace and gratitude to you this day. Peace.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
10:57 am edt
One Summer we worked at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park. If you have been to Yellowstone, you are familiar with
the variety and beauty of the Park and the spontaneity of the land. Geysers appear in the midst of major roadways at evening, and
vanish by the next day. Elk, moose and deer freely roam the fields of high grasses, and race in large, thundering herds
across the valleys-- seemingly "out of nowhere".
Black and Grizzly Bears loom in the background and foreground of the Park's hills and woods as picnics are spread,
as well as at dumping sites throughout the Park. One evening we returned from a movie-- on foot to our living quarters --to
find bears our companions on the walk home. This night they were preoccupied with the findings in nearby garbage
cans, so we didn't concern ourselves too much. You often hear them before you see them. The bright stars and the quarter moon
illuminate the dark shapes lumbering nearby.
One day while walking up a hill of shale, a wolverine appeared as we turned a bend. The large, swift weasel-like animal
was as shocked as we were, and we both turned in opposite directions and raced away. Unpredictability, unmanageability,
and "uncontrollability" are the constants in Yellowstone. Inhabitants of all species learn to live with change and spontaneity as
Spontaneity can be a wondrous or challenging experience, depending on one's perspective. Things happen. We often
have little or no ability to control the outcome. We learn from the changes and shifts in the landscape if we are thoughtful.
We ourselves are as changeable as the landscape in the movement of our thoughts, our feelings, our visions and our hopes.
Our own energies ebb and flow, and shift and settle as much as the changing terrain in Yellowstone Park. Recognizing our participation
in the changing landscape of our lives allows us to value our role and recognize that while we may seemingly have no control
over circumstances we, like geysers, sometimes can, merely by being who we are, break through established pavement or stream
beds and thereby change the course of rivers. We measure our success by who we are rather than by what we can see that we
have done--by our qualitative rather than our quantitative accomplishments.
We may never know the ourcome of our efforts, but we can trust in our contribution to the natural, spontaneous course
of life and those who work for peace. We can change the course of rivers by being peace.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
5:47 pm edt
Have you ever been to Cape Cod? During the "off season" the traffic is not bad, and the magic and beauty of this area
can be more easily enjoyed. Drive out to the far tip toward Provincetown, and pass the high sand dunes covered with beach
plums. Watch the seagulls as they capture clams and other small shells, then move to hover over the sandy beach at Race Point where
they drop their catch onto rocks, as shells break and the gulls dive to consume their meals. The sound
of waves and the cry of gulls harmonize your own energies as you walk the long beach, bending to pick up small smooth stones
of many colors and patterns...here a black..there a white...then a red and green patterned stone washing up with every
wave that breaks upon the beach...stroll...let the salt spray wash your thoughts and concerns away and carry them back
to the ocean, from which life comes.
Provincetown moves to its own rhythms and makes space for every lifestyle...it is a festival and feast for a space apart...artists,
writers, sculpters, actors, musicians...all have found space in which to breathe more easily and to create from within their
own life's heart...capture the feeling. Believe in the peace and the place within your own heart. Stroll the beaches...savor
the freedom. It is a place apart from the mainland...a breath of fresh sea air...become your own Cape Cod. Become peace.
Peace to you this day. Peace.
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occurs to us. Check back often!