Human beings and human societies always have struggles and anxieties. If we were all in the same room we could easily name many of the great challenges of our day:
- A crisis of trust in each other
- Lack of equal status for people of diverse groups
- Wealth and income inequality
- Climate change
And more of course.
We all know that responding to these challenges is beyond any one of us. To respond effectively requires more than we know.
But none of us are alone. We can face these challenges together. Most people in our society, believe it or not, want to do their part to address these challenges. We spend so much of our time listening to those who scream on the extremes we forget to listen to each other. There are many people who want to make a positive difference, more than we know.
We also have wisdom from previous generations of human beings. At PTU we call these “wisdom traditions.” Human societies have faced similar struggles, even if not on this scale. Wisdom traditions gather and remember ways to understand how human beings and human communities can come together and stay together.
I feel so blessed to serve in the role as executive director of Paths to Understanding. I have the great joy to listen to people of many traditions, to hear the gifts of wisdom they carry, and to honor their contributions to our human family. Together we hold wisdom necessary for this moment, more than we know.
Listening to all of you, I feel a growing sense of hope that we can weave our way through our own struggles and anxieties. We will do that together. We will do that by recognizing the gifts each of us can bring. That means that each of us, both as individuals and as participants in communities, need to ask ourselves a few questions: What can we offer? How can we listen? Who can we partner with?
Our challenges are great, but our potential is also great, even more than we know.