Just Show Up

“We cannot, of course, save the World because we do not have authority over its parts. We can serve the world though. That is everyone’s calling, to lead a life that helps.” (Barry Lopez)

Yesterday, I participated in a Saging International webinar on “Cultivating Compassion.” I signed up for it weeks ago, not noticing that it was scheduled for the day after the inauguration. As it turned out, it was a perfect follow-up to President Biden’s powerful and beautifully inclusive speech, and also to Amanda Gorman’s luminous poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

Both asked us to step up to this moment in history with a commitment to unity and to bringing our best selves to the task. Each, in their own way, acknowledged that it will not be easy and there may be some who do not share the vision. Nonetheless, the time is now.

“And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together. And so today at this time, in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another.” (President Biden)

“So while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be” (Amanda Gorman)

The compassion webinar offered many ideas I plan to continue mulling and savoring, but there was one that struck me particularly as I contemplate how I can best meet this moment: Speaker Aryae Coopersmith said simply, “Just show up with the intention to serve.”

Just show up with the intention to serve.

We don’t have to be the best. We don’t have to move mountains. We don’t have to know what to do next. We don’t even have to be brave.

Just show up with the intention to serve.

Whatever that looks like. Whatever we can offer. There is no puny action. There is no wrong way to love.

Just show up with the intention to serve.

If only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
(Amanda Gorman)


12 thoughts on “Just Show Up

  1. I like the idea of showing up to serve, not to take. Would that all people could grasp that concept. Seems like a fragile idea coming from the place we’ve just been as a country. Yet it’s a great intention for the days ahead.

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