Links in the Chain

What image comes to your mind when you think of a chain? Is it one of limitation, bondage, and imprisonment? Or do you think of a chain's length, reach, and collective strength?
I suppose the image one settles upon depends on the relationship between the links one chooses to visualize.
Recently, I must admit, I have been in a relative funk. I am blessed with many interests and opportunities, but I am not always certain where to place my focus, and as a result I am inclined to feel quite irrelevant in my endeavors... Your basic personal pity party. These are not new demons, and whenever I struggle with them I try to think about what kind of link I am being in the chain of my relationships. Am I creating a kink with my need for relevance, or do I try to be a strong link and hold on until my direction becomes clear? In the United States, we can be a fiercely independent and driven society, or we tend to passively blame external forces for our plight. I believe either approach gets us all kinked up at times.

We were blessed here in Austin on Saturday with a much needed and extraordinary amount of rain. This provided my husband and I an opportunity to watch
President Obama's address to the students with our nine year-old son AJ. Regardless of how you voted, or how you feel the administration is handling public policy (believe me I have my opinions as well), please take the opportunity to watch this with your children. It was a humble, heartfelt, and personal call for our next generation to reach for their dreams, be responsible for giving of their talents, and to never forget their relevance in and for the world.

I have always been fascinated and humbled by individuals who have risen to
greatness simply through their ability to identify their call and inspire others. These are links in the chain possessing immeasurable strength such as Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu, and so many others. A common thread running through these individuals is a belief that all of humanity is linked together. What if we approached one another as if every single link, every single person, every single gift and talent was required to reach a goal of height and possibility we cannot even imagine? What if we truly believed that every soul (everywhere) was a critical link in manifesting our destiny as a human race?

Actually loving our neighbor
as ourselves...
How different the world would be.