The Power of Beginning


Many wisdom traditions include the powerful image of a “path.” In these traditions it means a journey from one part of life to another, how we walk the path, and how we walk the path with others.

In our culture here in the United States, when we encounter a challenge, the preferred goal is often to “fix it” – and as quickly as possible. While this sounds positive, it means that, in many cases, we never even begin – because most issues in our lives don’t have an easy fix.

The image of a path means we are free to begin. There are no “transporter beams” that send us to the end of the journey. We must walk the path one step at a time. This is empowering, as it suggests that we are free to begin a journey or even change direction when we need to. Each step is both a sign of things to come and a victory of its own.

To begin addressing the issue of how isolated different social groups in Skagit County are from one another, we brought seventy people together at a gathering last month. They represented at least twenty different identities – faith traditions, cultures, economic circumstances, ages, sexual orientations, etc. This gathering did not solve the issue of our divisions, loneliness, and self-imposed segregation.

But it is a beginning, a step along the path.

This video shows the power of a single step:

The leaders in this video walked with great courage and hope to this gathering. As you listen, you will hear the echo of those steps and I hope you’ll feel the courage they mustered to take this step. As you listen, begin to imagine one step you can take to follow them on the path to our common humanity.

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