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With so many of us working with populations that are difficult, it is often easy to become discouraged, maybe overwhelmed and not thinking we are making a difference. I know I am a positive person but with so many things coming at me I like to start my day getting centered.

When I am in Livingstone, Zambia my security guard joins me in the morning when I come out of my bungalow room door and we say this aloud together:

May I be a guard for those who are protectorless
A guide for those who journey on the road
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall
And a lamp for those who long for light
For those who need a resting place, a bed
For all who need a servant, may I be their helper

May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty
A word of power and the supreme healing
May I be the tree of miracles
And for every being the abundant cow.


And may I share what the Dalai Lama of Tibet says every morning when he awakens:

"And now as long as space endures,
As long as there are beings to be found,
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world."

Both poems or prayers are from THE WAY OF THE BODHASATTVA

When I say these each day I find that I do not have to be pressured, or disappointed and I do not have to even look how to help. Whatever comes along I know how to handle it.

For example, today when I was in the food store buying groceries, I saw a man of perhaps age 50 in a wheelchair, he had the USA and a couple other flags on the wheelchair.

I went up to him and said: "Excuse me sir but were you a soldier?"
"Yes" was his response.

"Were you in the war?" I asked.

"Yes" he said.

"Which war?"


"WOW! Which war?"


i held out my hand and shook his. "I want to thank you for what you did for us. It is a real honor to meet a hero like you".

"Thank you", he said.

Then, I went on my way. He smiled. I didn't have to think about doing it. It is a part of who I am. That poem/prayer set the tone. Every energy out there needs me. And everyone needs you. There is no way to describe how necessary you are. Your smile can mean all the difference to someone. Your looking someone in the eye like they exist may be all the good they get that day. So, in the midst of trying to make a difference, when times get tough and you know they will, please know that you matter and you are necessary. It doesn't always have to be a big event. To that veteran, I was a big event in his life.

Thank you.

Ubuntu ( I am who I am because of who we are together).

Wendy Stebbins

P.S. And he was a big event to me, filled me up so much I walked home without my food and had to go back to get it. Haha !

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