Above: Seva board, staff, and guests at our May 2017 Board Meeting.
As I reflected on this letter for our newsletter, I thought about my daughter Gabriela who today is the very age I was when Seva was founded nearly 40 years ago. I contemplated on what I want her to know about why I applied for the Executive Director post and how profoundly humbled I am to join this team at this time. I also wondered what I would tell my 11 year-old self about what would someday be my path. In doing so, I quickly landed on three elements:
Seva has helped to transform nearly four million lives, perhaps more, as a result of the efforts, intentions and dedication of a small group of individuals who came together with a desire to do something for someone else.
Last week I enjoyed a meal with Judith and Dick Litwin who for more than 30 years have helped to support, guide and love the joyfulness of Seva’s mission. In fact, my first email after board welcome messages was from Dick. He had found a copy of a letter sent nearly twenty years ago in tribute to Dr. V. It was a faded fax message typed in all CAPS from a partner who could not make the journey home. Dick wanted me to more fully understand the nature of the new community I had joined a universal fabric of transformation that knows no border, time zone or zip code.
As I read that letter, I began to reflect on how much things have changed over the years. And the knowledge that the one constant we live with is uncertainty. Taking on a new role gives me the opportunity to further explore the nature of leadership in uncertain times and the specific role that hope plays in the process.
Let me leave you with the hopeful message from Ram Dass, who is known for a saying: we are all just walking each other home. This is what I told Gabriela and what I would also whisper to my 11 year-old self “everything is okay - we are going home”. Enjoy the newsletter that follows.
Yours in Service,