From Your Board President

I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious fall weather and the beautiful colors of our mountains and trees. As I write this, Mt. Sopris is covered halfway down with a soft new dusting of snow. Everywhere you look, the aspens and cottonwoods seem to glow, so bright are their golden leaves. I try to savor every moment, because I know how quickly it will all be gone! I experience such gratitude for these sights—and gratitude is a practice I am trying to learn to cultivate. I encourage all of you to watch the video on Grassroots TV, in which Florence discusses this very topic on a program called “Habits of Happiness.”

Florence and I recently had a great meeting with Rev. Deborah Holder, Minister of Beloved Community for the Mountain Desert District of the UUA. In the course of our discussion, Deb referred us to the website, I’ve spent some time reading the articles and blogs and found it to be a rich resource for the understanding and practices of Beloved Community (a term originating with Martin Luther King.)

I have shamelessly lifted one such article to share with you. Written by Meck Groot, it’s entitled “Spend Your Gifts,” and it refers to the 2011 graduation address given by Denzel Washington to the graduates of U. Penn. In the speech, Washington asks the graduates, “What are you going to do with what you have? And I’m not talking about how much you have. Some of you are business majors. Some of you are theologians, nurses, sociologists. Some of you have money. Some of you have patience. Some have kindness. Some have love. Some of you have the gift of long suffering. Whatever it is… what are you going to do with what you have?”

Groot writes, “I hear in Denzel’s words the invitation to spend those gifts even if you have no idea what will come back, what will be accomplished, what difference delivering your gifts will make. I hear in his words not to be shy with what you have, but to offer it, deliver it with abandon. Scatter it. Spread it.”

“Imagine,” says Denzel, “that you’re on your deathbed—and standing around your bed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential. The ghosts of the ideas you never acted on. The ghosts of the talents you didn’t use. And they’re standing around your bed. Angry. Disappointed. Upset. ‘We came to you because you could have brought us to life,’ they say, ‘and now we go to the grave together.’

Groot concludes, “Do not let that happen. Take risks. Spend your gifts. That is what love is.”

Yours TRUUly,

Sue Coyle