So, in the past week I've been fortunate enough to get morepositive press than should be allowed (sorry, I don't know how else to say it).
First, there was Thursday's News Journal article, then there was WDEL's Rick Jensen leading an on-air "Ken Grant fest" - and more e-mails, facebook posts, and tweets than I can count.
I humbly accept the kind words and affirmations from all, BUT, I hope you will indulge me with just a few extra moments of your time to expand on a couple of ideas.
Several years ago, a friend pointed out to me that cynics are actually great romantics - they see how the possibilities of what the world *could* be compared to how the world *is* - and I could relate.
I realized that I had a decision to make - would I live from an attitude of cynicism, or would I try to make the world a better place, that place of possibility?
This is a decision I find myselffacing every day - and it is what I see in this community that keeps me choosing, time after time, to work a little harder, to try a little more, to believe that we can - and do - make a difference.
When I see people who are unemployed (and employed) come together every week to help support each other in their job searches (Community Matters Networking Group),
When I see thousands of people volunteer to help homeless families in multiple ways (Family Promise, Sunday Breakfast Mission, Ministry of Caring, etc.),
When I see a growing network of people connecting both electronically and in person to work on projects that help build community (Network Delaware, Greater Newark Network, etc.),
When I see organizations dedicated to providing our youth with mentors, direction, and the tools needed to grow into adults who will make a difference in the world around them (Urban Promise, Jewish Family Services of Delaware, Delaware Youth for Christ, Junior Achievement, etc.), and
When I know that the list of examples I have here represents only a small fraction of the individuals and organizations that should be recognized,
Then I know that I cannot hide behind the cowardice of cynicism and must do my part in creating a better future.
I'll never forget seeing a great poster a few years ago, it reads:
There's three kinds of people in the world:
- Those who make things happen
- Those who watch things happen
- Those who look around and ask, What just happened?
I ask that every time you get the urge to complain about something you consider to be wrong in society that you stop and think about what YOU can do to improve the situation - andplease, be creative - a protest or letter-writing campaign might bring some awareness to a situation, but what then? What can you do to make a difference - please don't wait for a state agency to step in, or for someone else to do something - if you see a problem, an issue, an opportunity, then YOU have what it takes to change it.
Anyone who has been to more than a couple of weddings (or seen the movie "Wedding Crashers") is probably familiar with the famous writing from a Rabbi named Paul about how "Love is patient, love is kind..."
I'd like to direct your attention to one of his other writings that I would argue offers some very basic, practical guidelines for life in community:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves... Share with people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you...Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Seriously, thanks so much to all of you who set an incredible example - thank you for all of the joy, hope, and inspiration you bring - thank you for demonstrating true kindness.
Now, let's continue to work together to make our corner of the world a little better!
With much appreciation,