As 2022 drew to a close, the Earth & Spirit Center board and staff concluded a months-long strategic planning process to help us chart our course for the next several years. One of the more mundane –though important! – administrative items that came up in conversation was the need to create transition plans for key staff members in the case of planned or unplanned departures. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do for years but not gotten around to. When I tried to reassure the board that I have no plans to leave my role, it was pointed out to me, only half-jokingly, that I do have some risky hobbies, namely rock climbing and mountain biking, that could put me out of commission pretty easily.
I don’t see myself as a middle-aged adrenaline junky, and the heart-racing activities I love are a paradoxical counterpoint to a lot of calm time spent on a meditation cushion. What I do know, and what we recognized in our strategic planning process, is that life is risky, and to be fully alive means to take reasonable risks.
That’s what the Earth & Spirit Center has done and continues to do: take careful but bold, calculated but courageous risks in the service of life and our organizational mission. We continue to invest in new staff, new programs, new infrastructure and new ideas. Not everything works out perfectly, but the overall outcome has been growth and innovation that I don’t think could have happened any other way.
As we being a new year, none of us has a clear picture of what may await us, individually and collectively. So the best we can do is walk forward together into the risks of the unknown future, hopefully with some forethought and hopefully from a clear, non-reactive stillness that meditation can provide. In that calm courage, we can trust Thomas Berry’s wise counsel: “In the immense story of the universe, that so many of these dangerous moments have been navigated successfully is some indication that the universe is for us rather than against us. We need only summon these forces to our support in order to succeed.”
Kyle Kramer, CEO