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Awakened in the Stream

Most of today was spent at a workshop on “Servant Leadership” put on by the local Good Samaritan Society.  It was a good day of reflection and learning—a welcome and necessary break from the routine.  The speaker began by reading a poem called “Accepting This” by Mark Nepo, taken from a book Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead.  This excerpt, in particular, stood out to me:

My efforts now turn
from trying to outrun suffering
to accepting love wherever
I can find it.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

Ultimately,
we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

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