Greetings, dear ones, on this lovely fully spring morning! The sun is promising a beautiful day, though i believe we're supposed to get some showers later. But nothing can dim my spirits on this glorious day, as last evening, my friend, mae, and i confirmed our flight to Kenya in July. Hallelujah!!!! Step one accomplished in this lengthy process of putting a 5-week trip together. Oh, for those of you who did not know, i'm returning to east Africa this summer with Mary Martin of the Nyanya Project to visit our present projects and begin work on at least one more. And i'll get to see the amazing women i met last summer, to see the lovely children at our preschool in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, and to experience the incredibly gracious hospitality of the African people. Do you get the idea that i am excited?!
Spent some time this morning reading about "Differences" in Uncommon Gratitude. If you have never encountered the writing of Joan Chittister, i commend it to you. She is deeply spiritual at the same time as being wonderfully practical and inclusive. May i share a few of her reflections with you, for your mornng consideration? We live in a "copycat" society, Joan muses. (i remember when "copycat" used to be a term of derision when i was a kid...no one wanted to be accused of that! it meant you had no originality, no imagination! wonder when that changed...) Most human beings find difference very threatening and wear sameness like a security blanket, since sameness makes us feel accepted and secure. However, it is in the DEVELOPMENT of our differences that we thrive...in our respect for the differences of others that we grow.
From the Maxims of Syrus: When two do the same thing,
it is not the same thing after all.
(you wonderful artists out there know that, don't you?)
It's important to remember that different isn't bad...it is only DIFFFERENT. Differences broaden us, make us think differently about the world, cause us to ask questions, enlarge our perspective, increase our understanding...if we let them. They cause us to ask ourselves what is really important in life, what really must have priority. They challenge our small assumptions about the world; they open our respect, widen our acceptance, and deepen our appreciation. And so, with pen in hand, i wrote...
From a sense of
Rather allow differences to
Enlarge your perspective,
Noticing as you do that they
Challenge your assumptions and
Enlarge your view of the world, realizing your
Small slice of life is not the whole loaf.
May your Tuesday be wonderfully full of hope, joy, peace, and meaning. May you rejoice in the differences you find before you. As i sit here picturing each one of you, i am overwhelmed with thanks for the amazingly beautiful variety of colors you represent and present...a veritable Crayola box of hues, making my life a painting of riotus color! May you KNOW your value; may you honor the value of every "other" you encounter...and may you know that you are loved. love, linda