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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Never give up on you...

I had a truly inspiring morning.
I may have noted this before but I am on the Philadelphia AmeriCorps week planning committee. Today we had an AmeriCorps rally for members in the city which was followed by several service projects.

AmeriCorps slogan is 'getting things done' and we kept repeating that through the rally. It was ironically inspiring to hear others testimonials and to see so many other AmeriCorps members out there.

I had a great, no awesome, team and we cleaned up a lot in the North Philadelphia area. I think lot clean ups get a lot of slack because they're not necessarily sustainable service projects and they are pretty labor intensive. But I believe that lot clean ups make a significance difference to the community. It shows that someone cares and increases the worth of the community. So three hours of this and joking and laughing and bugs and posion ivy and we were done.

As I was walking back to our office I stopped to reflect (a carry over from our after service reflection) where I thought about how much more connected I felt to the North Philadephia community. In fact at that moment I loved it and felt indebted to it. I saw a lot of hope there and that small act with so many other committed and engaged citizens renewed my faith in the change that is possible.

As I kept moving towards the office I passed through Temple where several large commencement ceremonies were either happening, starting or ending. It was a special moment seeing all of those families and graduates embracing this moment. It reminded me of my own graduation a year ago. I was then flooded with a mix of emotions. One a great joy at seeing so many dreams accomplished, so much joy and pride, and then this other wave which I can't quite accurately described. But it was like frustration and maybe a clear momemt where I was able to touch the feelings that have been surging through me this past month and a half.

Service is great and I feel almost selfish admitting to this. But I felt a great wave of...I don 't know but it was like...I wanted that carefree feeling back. I wanted to feel the ability to move forward with ease without being so concerned with all of the things I find myself concerned with. Service is great but it can feel so heavy when you realize how deep issues are and how complicated this world is. And then I think well maybe I shouldn't think of that, maybe I should just do what I can and not think about it tooo much. And that's ok. A better way to phrase it is to cahnge the things I can and the serenity to know the difference and wisdom to discern the difference.

We are all these wanderig souls, searching for a way to our dreams. May we all find our way and contribute to others as they search.

And do all that I can and never give up...

Ron Sexsmith: Never give up on you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vZaZNs0mhw

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer.

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