You are strong- when you take your grief, and teach it to smile.
You are brave- when you overcome your fear, and then help others to do the same.
You are loving- when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
You are wise- when you know the limits of your wisdom.
You are true- when you admit that there are times when you fool yourself.
You are alive- when tomorrow’s hope means more to you than yesterday’s mistakes.
You are growing- when you know what you are, but not what you shall become.
You are free- when you are in control of yourself, and do not wish to control others.
You are merciful- when you forgive in others, the faults you condemn in yourself.
You are happy- when you see a flower, and give it your blessing.
From Traditional Jewish Sources
This cannot be an easy life.
We shall have a rugged time of it to keep our minds open and to keep them deep;
To keep our sense of beauty and our ability to make it, and our ocassional ability to see it
in places remote and strange and unfamiliar.
We shall have a rugged time of it, all of us- but this is the condition of our lives,
and it has its redemption in the reality that we share and do shape our futures together.
In this condition we call life, we can serve, we can extend, we can console and inspire because we can love one another.
Robert Oppenheimer adapted
” An Outstreched Hand”
Each of us was made by God, and some of us grew tall.
Others stood out in the wind, their branches bent and fell.
Those of us who walk in the light, must help the ones in darkness, up.
For that’s what life is all about, and love is all there is to life.
Each of us was made by God, beautiful in [God’s] mind’s eye.
Those of us who turned out sound should look across our shoulders once
and help the weak ones to their feet.
It only takes an outstreched hand.
by Rod Mckuen
There is a certain courage that comes to us when we greet the dawn;
our shadows and uncertainities fade when we respond to the growing warmth, the glowing promise of the light.
At first, we can be startled by the entry of more light into our lives, and wistfully try to hold on to sleep, dreams, and solitude.
We seek to perserve the darkness, there is a strange comfort found there… strange and true.
Yet the light of the day, the light of consciousness and the dawning of true community beckons and entices us… .
To rise from our darkness and stand to face whatever the day promises to us. It is in this call to9 be who and what we truly are, to be willing to stand fearlessly and to rspond openly, that we can find that which is essential to self and to our community; a way of being together that brightens the day-star of the soul.
May the light around us guide our footsteps, and hold us fast to the best and most righteous that we seek.
May the darkness around us nurture our dreams, and give us rst so that we may give ourselves to the work of the world.
Let us seek to remember the wholeness of our lives, the weaving of light and shadow in this great and astonishing dance in which we move.
by Sally McTigue