Guidance for Those Who Want to Make the World a Better Place



Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.

   - Martha Postlewaite

I am lucky to spend a lot of time working with people who are committed to making the world a better place. But, that has a tendency to be unending work--with no relief in sight. Relief showed up recently in this poem by Martha Postlewaite. The idea of "creating a clearing in the dense forest of our lives" and waiting there patiently is an extraordinary wake up. To slow down. To be present. For me, it is only in the spacious quiet in my life that I can hear the song of my calling.

Questions for conversation or reflection:

What processes have you found for creating that clearing? What are the circumstances in which it occurs for you?

Where do you find support for that process?

How do you balance the practical demands for action with the deeper need for the clearing?