Executive Director's Corner
Parade magazine, a traditional Sunday newspaper publication, recently featured a lead story on the topic of AWE. I commend this article to your attention and encourage you to read it at your leisure.
The essence of the story struck at my heart and emotional core. I have arrived at a phase in my life, and I am not sure I can attribute why to any specific reason, where I find myself captivated by many things that have relatively gone unnoticed for decades. I admit that I willingly remain busy in my life on both the professional and personal front. That said, I find now that my heart, soul and mind are capturing and assessing much more than I can ever recall doing in my lifetime. We are all surrounded by a wide array of people, places and things that truly do command more attention than we present and provide. In my opinion and as a result, we miss so much in our daily lives.
My conversations and interactions with friends and associates, some I have known for decades, continue to teach me many things about them and myself. What I continuously discover is that I truly have not had the pleasure of meeting these friends before. The same holds true with them not truly knowing me. This rediscovery—or in fact discovery—of those who I am fortunate enough to cross paths with has been impactful.
On a separate front but still in the category of personal interaction, I have found that individuals with whom I could not find that correct balance with for any number of reasons, are now teaching new lessons by simply witnessing how others react to them. I have better teachable moments so that my mind moves toward how I should treat and interact with others given the observations I have gathered from these people. They are not individuals to stay away from, they are indeed placed in front of me for educational purposes—it is up to me to capture the lesson. When accomplished, it truly helped me in my interactions with others.
My observation of place has also changed dramatically. Whether it is a public or private building, a church, cemetery, home or a majestic area of land untouched by humans, I find my mind rushing toward a multitude of thoughts. It is truly awe-inspiring to look at any of the places noted above and think deeply about those who have walked before me. In the case where I find majestic areas of land untouched by humans–as one can do when flying especially out toward the Western area of our beautiful country—I am thankful that land is in a country that has numerous freedoms. We far too often take our many freedoms for granted— I for one do not and will not.
“Things” can, and do have a vast definition but I will start with what the great outdoors has to provide. A walk in a wooded area speaks loudly if one makes an attempt to listen. The color of leaves, trees, grass, and the sky are incredible visual prompts. The sounds of nature—waterfalls, rainfall, wind and other natural forces—are simply magnetizing but too often we move past these natural gifts because our mind is crowded and can’t comprehend what surrounds us.
What does awe have to do with our purpose and work product at ACCG? Quite simply everything from my perspective. We all are provided with a gift of witnessing and working on so very much because of the true definition of public service. We are not driven to stay in our lane and live life within tight boundaries. We are in fact afforded the opportunity to see and witness so very much. We can create moments that are awe-inspiring. We can be awe-inspiring to those we come into contact with and we can slow down long enough to make sure that we don’t miss the lesson that we have learned—it often stands right in front of us.
Close out the clutter in your minds, don’t let the political seasons pull you down, be mindful of the impact you are making on the lives of others because by definition you are a leader in your respective communities. That, my friends, is indeed a gift so accept it willingly and embrace it for all it is truly worth.