It's Just Our Turn To Help The World
Several years ago, I read of a Buddhist teacher who offered his encouragement to a group that was filled with despair over the state of the world. His advice was simple, profound and placed things in historical context: “It’s just our turn to help the world.” What I love about this statement is that it reminds us of other times and other people who stepped forward to help create the changes that were necessary. We do live in an extraordinary era when, for the first time, humans have altered the planet’s ecology and created consequences which are just beginning to materialize in frightening ways. But throughout human existence, there have always been people willing to step forward to struggle valiantly in the hope that they might reverse the downward course of events. Some succeeded, some did not. But as we face our own time, we need to remember that we stand on very firm and solid shoulders.
I Want to Be a Ukrainian
When I come of age,
I want to be a Ukrainian.
When I come of age
I want to hear my voice
It was day fifteen of the protest, and a woman standing next to her car was being interviewed. Her car had a rooster sitting on top of it. She said “We’ve woken up and we’re not leaving till this rotten government is out.” It is not recorded if the rooster crowed.
When I get over being a teen-ager
I will have become a Ukrainian
The Yushchenko supporters carried bright orange banners which they waved vigorously on slim poles. Soon after the protests began, the government sent in thugs hoping to create violence. They also carried banners, but theirs were hung on heavy clubs that could double as weapons.
When I take my life seriously
I will be a Ukrainian.
"Protest that endures," Wendell Berry said, "is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.
When I grow up and am known as a Ukrainian
In my maturity, l will be glad to teach you
“Hope,” said Vaclev Havel, “is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”
I will teach you all that I have learned
and I will die well, having been a Ukrainian.
Margaret Wheatley is a well-respected writer, speaker, and teacher for how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve in this troubling time. She has written six books: Walk Out Walk On (with Deborah Frieze, 2011); Perseverance (2010); Leadership and the New Science; Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future; A Simpler Way (with Myron Rogers); and Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time. Each of her books has been translated into several languages; Leadership and the New Science appears in 18 languages. She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, which works in partnership with a rich diversity of people and communities around the world, especially in the Global South. These communities find their health and resilience by discovering the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment (www.berkana.org). Wheatley received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Change from Harvard University, and a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She's been an organizational consultant since 1973, a global citizen since her youth, a professor in two graduate business programs, a prolific writer, and a happy mother and grandmother. She has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates. You may read her complete bio at http://margaretwheatley.com/bio.html, and may download any of her many articles (free) at http://margaretwheatley.com/writing.html.
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