Actually, every color is beautiful.
But let me tell you why I chose the title I did for this article.
Last November the Pact board of directors, which I chair, held our meeting in Zambia. Part of our meeting included visiting villages where Pact and its partners work. We asked board members to shift perspective and view their experience from the point of someone very different from themselves – and then to write a six-word story describing that experience.
My six-word story is: White is beautiful. Black is too.
Our village visit took place on November 9th – the day after the elections in the U.S. Like so many others that day, I was shocked and troubled by the outcome. It took all my energy to focus on our purpose and fully engage with community. I was asked to share some remarks. As I did, I looked around at the many beautiful, smiling faces of children who came out to celebrate with us. As the morning’s program continued I couldn’t wait to step away from the head table and plop myself onto the ground, surrounded by all those children. I craved the innocence, joy and hope they represented. I wanted to immerse myself in their laughter and curiosity. And so, I did.
What I’m celebrating…
It may seem odd given our current political climate . . . but I’m celebrating religious freedom in the U.S. On a recent client trip to Baltimore I stumbled into Pope John Paul II Park, which includes an etched stone recognizing Maryland’s special place in the history of American Catholicism. It quotes the pope honoring Maryland as a place where “religious freedom and civic tolerance were enshrined in the American experience.” The quote continues, “Today, religious tolerance and cooperation among Americans cannot simply be a pragmatic or utilitarian undertaking, a mere accommodation to the fact of diversity. No, the source of your commitment to religious freedom is itself a deep religious conviction.” As if to reinforce that statement, the park sits across the street from a Unitarian Church and half a block from a business displaying Tibetan prayer flags and Hindu statues.
What I’m listening to…
Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais, specifically, his podcast with singer/songwriter, Jewel.
In her interview with Michael, she shares many gems from her own mindfulness practice. My favorite is her end-of-day exercise in which she reflects on whether and how she lived her values that day. And, when she falls short, how she will do better the next day.