Friday, December 9, 2011

Beyond Acceptance To Action

I had a seemingly rough day yesterday. I was processing. And processing is almost always hard. There were a lot of things to mull through about my life, my work (or lack of work) in Botswana, my (idealistic) beliefs and hopes for the next 18 months, and what I'm going to do about it. How does a person make sense of all of that? I mean, it's a lot and, to be honest, it's a lot more than any one person can have jurisdiction over.

When I need to deal with this mass of issues, no amount of talking will suffice. This is a lesson I learned after my dad died. I learned that I deal with the difficult things best when I'm left alone and given time to think. So, yesterday, I did just that. I meditated, I did yoga, I sat, I read old sermons by Rabbi Will Berkovitz (like this one: "Notebooks"), I watched Almost Famous, I read quotes, and then I pieced it all together.

Victor E. Frankl said that "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." I believe those words. I need to embody them. I needed to have yesterday. I needed a day to process and to decompress and to get to the point where Frankl's words were not only beautiful but applicable to me. Because they are.

I am not sure that any great change will come from my counterpart but that is okay. I did not come to Botswana with the intention to help him run an organization better, but rather with the passion and the drive to help orphans and vulnerable children live a better life. They are my reason for being here. I want to help those kids thrive in whatever way I can. I can get creative and do just that. True, the situation I'm in outright stinks. There really is no other way to put it. I shouldn't have been put in an organization that was crumbling fast but I was and I can't change that. The only thing I can change is my attitude and my response to the situation. (Plus, do I really want this dream of mine to diminish because a couple of people can't get their act together? No way! This is my dream to live out!) So here I go. I am going to dig down deep, take the love and support of my friends and colleagues, and try to "build something from nothing". I am committed to helping these kids every bit as much today as I was on the day I left. I need to rid myself of the confines holding me back and see what I can do on my own here. The kids deserve that much. And, you know what? So do I.


  1. You are doing a great job. I must congratulate you. I like your blog.

  2. I'm so proud of you, especially that no matter what happens, you have the ability to turn things around and make them into an opportunity to grow and learn and create.

    I love you, Mom