The world news seems to be full of stories of violence, fear, blame, anger and the protection of only those perceived to be part of an accepted group. I admit to being overwhelmed at times, filled with a sense of helplessness and sadness. And then I think of the work each of you is doing, providing the opportunity for increased physical and mental health and wellness to thousands of children and adults through equine-assisted activities and therapies. I am reminded that each of us has the chance to make a difference in our own communities, embracing differences and empowering individuals to create a happy, healthy life for themselves and, in turn, positively impacting their community. It is our charge to continue to build a strong network of individuals, connected through their interaction with an equine, guided by trained professionals, reaching life-goals to better their lives and those around them.
Thinking about this brings me hope and some peace. I have hope knowing PATH Intl. members are doing this work not only with passion and commitment but also under the guidance of proven standards, created and validated by a community. I have hope knowing various stakeholders are willing to come together to focus on issues important to the greater field such as terminology, equine welfare, credentialing and sustainability. Finally, it brings me hope to recognize that we can honor different perspectives as we work toward the best solution.
This update may not be as substantive as previous updates, but as I sat down to write this, I realized what was most important to me for this update was to communicate how honored I am to lead a membership that brings such hope to the world. As we continue to professionalize the field, I believe we have the opportunity to bring this hope to even more individuals.
Thank you for the gift of hope.