A New Dawn in Difficult Timesby Anne Yurasek on October 24, 2009
I woke this morning just as the sun was rising. It was one of those mother of pearl sunrises with streaks of pink and grey and white. As I watched, the sun inched above the horizon and then, I realized all of a sudden, started to rise at an angle, moving from one window pane to the next. I was startled to see this and startled at being startled. Had I really never noticed that the sun rises, not straight up in the way that it seems to set, but moving on a gently incline from left to right? Of course, I know that the earth revolves and the sun stands still and it would make sense that , as the earth goes round, the sun would rise at an angle. Perhaps the angle is steeper in Maine, where I am now, and that' s why I am seeing this now. But I did have the sense of being reminded of something essential and fundamental and inescapable that is an underlying reality to whatever else is happening in the world.This has been a hard week in which I have had the same conversation with my client CEO's over and over again. These conversations went something like this: "I didn't choose this career to turn away people in need, to cut my staff's salaries, to lay off colleagues of long standing. I didn't choose this job in order to fight with politicians. I can't accept that the work of my lifetime is now in the hands of seemingly helpless, hapless, clueless bureaucrats who have no idea what to do, who seem incapable of thinking clearly if they have less money to spend, who can't set or see priorities or make decisions on principle. I didn't choose this; I don't want this; I don't like this."
The impact of the economic downturn is now a crisis for the nonprofit sector, a seismic shift in our reality. But we have to remember that just as the sun rises, equilibrium will return. New patterns will emerge and we will shift our perspective. Within the seeming chaos of this contraction, are the seeds of order renewed. When it comes, it will be like seeing something familiar in a new way.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pearbiter/