Saturday, February 25, 2006

Everyday angels

A slow start to my Saturday. A noon break to watch Apollo Anton Ohno win the gold medal, sitting on the edge of my chair and biting my nails. A late lunch too. Things kept getting in the way and slowing down the day. By late afternoon, sitting at my desk and taking stock of how much time was left and how many items were on my list . . . I got lost.

Perched on top of my desk was a note from early January that had been rattling around my car. It was a note to myself to look up Jodi Williams' essay for the NPR program "This I Believe". I had heard it on the radio while driving to the post office and was absolutely struck by the significance of her statement -- that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary progress in this world by just taking action. The part that made my heart jump and my breath catch in my throat was this:

"I believe that worrying about the problems plaguing our planet without taking steps to confront them is absolutely irrelevant. The only thing that changes this world is taking action.

I believe that words are easy. I believe the truth is told in the actions we take. And I believe that if enough ordinary people back up our desire for a better world with action, I believe we can, in fact, accomplish absolutely extraordinary things."

So in this muddled up afternoon, I found her essay on the NPR site. I read it. I listened to her voice reading it. I read it again. It's so simple really. The truth often is.

I will want to sit with this for a bit and process it. It feels important to where I am going somehow. Hopeful. Inspirational. A shift in perception. ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT. Yeah, that part.

Jody Williams - This I Believe