Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back, Looking Forward

A New Year's Reflection, Resolution, and Prayer

The New Year gives a person time to reflect on their past and perhaps set a plan for their future. In that light…

I would like to thank the many people who have made my work possible. Ranging from family to peers, priests to government officials to former teachers, and Indian to Rwandan, each has played their own vital role of support. Over the year I researched for 5 weeks at a time in Thailand, India, and Rwanda. Each location with faces, names, stories, and experiences that taught me the meaning of compassion, fellowship, and development. My tribute to them is witnessed in all of my presentations and the “Hope & Global HIV” DVD. Too often against seemingly endless odds these people, their stories, work, and struggle, go undocumented or unnoticed. They have taught me the power of the individual to impact their community and create change. Whether acting as individuals or in concert with others, we must never underestimate the power of the individual.

My New Years resolution is already underway. I am in the process of developing a self sustaining and reproducible model that links local communities to ones I have covered throughout this last year. A full post will be dedicated to the overview and logistics of the project in the coming month.

I will leave with this Christian prayer that I have said numerous times over this past year. In each country across language and cultural barriers, I found myself hoping that I was achieving these words. For it is in them that I found much of my motivation and direction. The words espouse a deep sense of personal responsibility and call to action by making the individual the channel, the enabler. With this in mind I wish all a Happy New Year. One in which they can embrace the truth that we all have the power to make a difference.

Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

No comments: