Dear World

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
Dear World

Dear World,

#%@#*!!!!! %&*#@$@*&*$%!!!!!!!!!!!!! $#@@@$*&*$%#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!! !


But seriously.

In the wake of yesterday’s shocking events at the Boston Marathon, I’ve been thinking about the overwhelming, well, “life-ness” of life. It’s almost too much to bear sometimes, all this life.

In recent weeks, I’ve watched a dear young colleague lose her father in tragic circumstances wrapped up in layers and layers of the complexities that come with families. I’ve watched another colleague forced to “choose” between the family she was born into and the beautiful family she’s created. I’ve seen neighbors suddenly finding their long and independent life over, moving to a care facility after a single fall resulted in a broken hip that signified a break in life as they knew it. I’ve watched, through the social blog-esphere, a woman lose her five-year old son after chronicling the story of his hard life, marked with serious health issues, and another mother write about her 17-year old daughter who took her own life after being raped and then bullied for it.

During this same time, I’ve also born witness to another colleague reveal a pregnancy that has been hard fought to achieve. I’ve gotten a glimpse of a colleague’s wife finding a new career direction that matches her incredible artistic talents with her love of parenting. I watched a video made by the students at one of the high schools we serve, designed to promote their upcoming urban production of Les Miserables, feeling the absolute pride and inspiration that comes from finding, and having the opportunity to showcase, your voice. And yesterday, in the midst of the chaos and smoke that filled the streets of Boston, I watched, along with thousands others, the heroes among us that ran toward the chaos in search of someone to help.

Life is not just chronicled by the big moments of joy and pain, of course. Lately I’ve been taking great pleasure in the fact that when my nearly-2-year old son wants a bowl of Rice Crispies he will say “I want Rice Piss-Peas!!” or when he wants a snack of a Fruit Roll Up he will ask for a “Fwoot Throw Up.”

Ah, Dear World.

The dictionary defines the word “Dear” as meaning “Beloved or Loved,” “Cherished,” and “Precious in one’s regard.” I hold this world precious, that’s what it comes down to, and I am brought to my knees by the horrors and joys and just-so moments all contained within this dear, dear world.

In her book Daring Greatly, Brené Brown writes: “Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark. The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together the small flickers of light created by courage, compassion, and connection and see them shine in the darkness of our struggles.”

Or, as Leonard Cohen said, “There are cracks in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Can you string together the small flickers of light in your dear, dear world today?


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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.