Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Colleagues,
Like many of you, I am lucky enough to have a fantastic board of leaders from across our community to help guide, counsel and govern our organization. Last evening at our NAO Board meeting, Carla Penn-Hopson, Sustainability Officer at
Self Enhancement Inc.
, started off our meeting with a reminder of the compassion and love we all must feel and show to each other – especially in these tragic times – as we see the injustices in Minneapolis unfold and the inequitable realities of the COVID-19 pandemic take more than 100,000 lives across America.
Here is the full poem Carla read:
"Because I Love You" by Demetrios Trifiatis
I saw the bitter tears of unhappiness
Running down your agonizing face,
Ravaged with pain,
And I became a sponge of compassion
To absorb them.
I heard the howling
Of your starving stomach,
Echoing throughout your rebellious drained veins,
And I became a sweet loaf of bread
To feed you.
I tasted the torturous thirst
Of your dry lips,
Burning fire, consuming your every single tissue,
And I became the vivifying fresh water
To quench it.
I sensed the presence of sickness
In your tormented body,
Devouring your vibrant well-being,
And I became salutary medicine to nurse you
Back to health.
I felt the terror
In your trembling gracious heart,
Scaring away your lofty humane virtues,
And I became fortifying courage to obliterate
Your distressful fears.
I found you lost in the darkness
Of joyless desperation,
Walking towards the abominable cliffs of self-distraction,
And I became a bright ray of hope to guide you
I discovered you shivering
in the middle of savage winter,
Wandering around without a roof over your frozen head,
And I became a shelter of warmth to protect you
From merciless cold.
I watched you suffering
from excruciating solitude,
Feeling the ever depressing loneliness in your tormented soul,
And I became your constant
I noted the torture
Of merciless rejection,
Destroying your wonderful, tender feelings,
And I became
Your faithful loved one.
I observed you struggle
In the rough sea of life, fighting your way,
Over the ominous waves of human malice,
And I became a solid boat of charity
To bring you on the serene shore.
I witnessed your efforts
To climb the mountains of desirable success,
Struggling, hopelessly, up the steep path of attainment,
And I became a firm ladder of mercy
To help you reach the very top.
I discerned you fighting against your brutal enemies
Trying to overcome their beastly power,
With your bare hands,
And I became a heavy sword of justice
To make you victorious.
I perceived the sharp arrow
Of relentless death,
Heading towards your loving, caring heart,
And I became a shield of concern
To save your precious life.
You ask me why I do all these things for you...
The answer is very simple my friend:
It is because
I LOVE YOU!
26 November 2019
We have reached the grim toll of over 100,000 people succumbing to COVID-19, we see the ugliness of systemic oppression on full display in our communities and beyond. There will be outrage and there will be opportunities for changes to make our world safer, more equitable and with everyone given the opportunity to thrive. I implore you all, as you serve your mission from whatever role you play in your organization, to go out show that love, that compassion which will feed souls and be the shield of concern for those we serve.