Yesterday, we concluded the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Senior Manager Leadership Institute with a powerful statement of hope. I am a Senior Fellow there and co-lead the intensive 8-month program for Senior Nonprofit Leaders and Strategic Connectors from organizations around the state. As part of the program, we challenged each leader to write a statement of their core beliefs. I believe that true leadership requires deep grounding in these beliefs, the things that get you up every morning, the things that keep you going when times are tough. So, we joined in what has become a national movement supported by National Public Radio called This I Believe. Based on a popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow, this series challenges each of us write our core beliefs in 350 to 500 words…without being preachy or self righteous. Each week one is read on the radio and posted as a podcast.
Yesterday, we heard of balance, community, justice, intuition, solidarity, and letting go. We heard stories of Rick the homeless man in Ohio, paella in Valencia Spain, bridge building in Minneapolis, dialogue in South Dakota, recovery from illness, and Dr. Suess. We were reminded of the power of language, the optimism required when people foster parent, and playgrounds. We were told about a dream of education, the fun of gardening, the potential that comes from opening to others, and the ways a child can transform a life. We were reminded that life can change in an instant and urged to live fully with joy in the present.
These statements are profound. They seem more so because we join with tens of thousands of others who have taken the time and deep soul searching needed when you are asked to reduce all of your stories, all of your thoughts, all of the hours debating with others to a simple 350 to 500 word statement. I encourage others to join this effort. Through such deep reflection and attention, the world will become more hopeful. This I Believe.