why so afraid to stand up?
someone will tell you
sit down?

but here is the truth
someone will always tell you
sit down

the ones we remember
kept standing

— Ruth Forman


Spent the day at a training.  Two pieces of it were quite good.  Oe of those was the pleasure hearing Newark Mayor Cory Booker speak.  I’ve heard him speak before.  The first time I heard him, he was part of a panel on neighborhood revitalization … and listening to him made me know I needed to apply for that big grant we were awarded in the fall.  It’s not so much that he inspired — though he does definitely inspire.  It’s more that he seems to be talking directly from the parts of your heart and soul that get tamped down in the face of all the things you wind up having to do to keep the boat afloat.  He speaks like a charismatic reminder of what you know is right, of the thing you set out to do when you first started working in a non-profit.  I listen to him and yes, of course he’s “on,” but everything he says rings sincere, authentic, true.  He finished speaking and I would bet everyone in that room felt lifted up, felt reenergized.  My boss was almost in tears.  No, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s funny, intelligent and attractive, but the thing that sets the room on fire is really his out-loud affirmation of who we are and what we do, of my decision to work in education, in community-based programs.  What a fabulous gift.


4 thoughts on “Affirmations

  1. Sounds like an awesome mayor. 🙂

    I’ve been feeling those words of Ruth Forman’s in my heart lately, and loving them. That’s the part that’s so hard to remember:

    someone will always tell you
    sit down

    (And oftentimes it’ll be your loved ones!)


    1. Booker is amazing. I wish my mayor would go take lessons!

      In my life, unfortunately, the one who tells me to sit down is often me … and that’s something I’m really working to change.


        1. Yes, to us all! I have to say, VONA really helped me with this, started the push that still has me moving forward. My boss is doing a lot to help me in this way, too. And I appreciate both, but I also know the real movement has to come from me.


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