I had the honor of offering the devotional to the Vermont State Senate on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 as they gathered for the opening of the legislative session. These are the words I shared:
The world we live in is constantly in motion, and we are continuously inundated with the voices and opinions of others.
To lead with integrity, we must also make space for stillness and for the quiet to hear our own voice and truth with clarity.
And so, I invite you into a moment of quiet now…and to join me in the spirit of prayer and reflection…
As you gather in this hallowed space,
this people’s house and this chamber of deliberation and public decision-making,
may you feel connected to the inner voice of integrity, conscience, and morality.
May that voice give rise to your courageous speech and action.
May these walls hold your thoughtful and impassioned deliberations,
but may they not be a barrier to the world, communities, and people beyond them.
May you know that you are not alone in your service,
but connected to ancestors, communities today, and future generations in need of your leadership.
And so, may the voices of those who are voiceless,
those with less privilege of position, class, ability, race, and gender,
those who have been pushed to the margins,
and those who have the most to lose from inaction,
find their way to the center of your discourse again and again.
May you know that “goodness is the only investment that never fails.”*
And so, may you choose to invest your time, resources, and goodwill into all that nurtures compassion, justice, equity, and peace.
May all that you do bring healing rather than harm to people and our precious planet.
May you travel this road of service together as colleagues
with an eye to the future and a respect for our past,
with mutual respect,
with open minds and hearts,
with listening ears, and
with the humility that admits we are wrong as much as we are right.
And, may Love, the ever-present, universal, insistent and persistent moving spirit of compassion and care, always be both known within these walls and shown beyond them.
So may it be.
*Henry David Thoreau