Bending The Arc

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

So I went to see a performance by author/educator/activist Parker Palmer (whose book, PS, "The Courage to Teach," sent me on the professional path I've been on for more than twenty years now) and musicians Carrie Newcomerand Gary Walters on Friday night.  It was called "What We Need Is Here:  Hope, Hard Times & The Human Possibility."

I had two favorite quotes/takeaways from the evening.

The first was an amalgam of things said by multiple people: "Small acts, grand with dignity, bend the arc of history."

The second was from Carrie Newcomer's song "Stones In The River" which says "The empty self still hears a call to love in the center of ache and awe. It's there the hope of the world shines.  And yes, there is still time."

There is still time.

I don't know about you, but I'm lately feeling a lot of both:  ache and awe. For personal, professional, and global reasons.

It was my birthday yesterday.  I turned 45; which, as my co-worker Greg pointed out, "IS HALF OF 90!" (Thanks a lot, Greg).

You guys, I want to bend the arc of history. Towards good. Towards love. I want that to be my legacy.

It can feel impossible in these times of divisiveness and anger. It can feel like only big solutions and ideas will bring about any change. That only the people with those degrees or that knowledge can fix things.

But the truth is, that's not the truth.

Small acts, grand with dignity.

That's the truth.

Small acts.

Grand with dignity.

My friends.  Open your eyes to the people in front of you. The place you're in, right now. How can you shed more love and light and understanding in this place, in this time? How can you open your heart up more to wonder and less to right? How can you put out your hands, palms open, and be open to receiving what meets them?

Because if you spend your time focusing on your space. And I spend my time focusing on mine. And we all are focusing on the love that calls us there; well, the hope of the world will start  to shine brightly. And the arc of history will be bent, forever.  Towards good. Towards love. Right?

We can do this together.

Hello, my loves. How will you bend the arc of history today?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.