by Kathie England

Who Can We Be As We Look Forward to 2023?

2022, like 2021 and 2020, was not an easy year in so many ways! We faced continued challenges to our warming planet and to the immediate safety of our children as evidenced by events like the shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

That event, among other mass shootings in 2022 and before, inspired me to be who I can be by supporting the efforts of Lift Every Voice to pass Oregon ballot Measure 114. This measure narrowly passed in November and, as I write this post, its implementation has been put on hold by one Oregon judge. Sadly, this month also marks the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. But, remembering who we can be means we will persist, despite this setback!

On January 20, 2021, I launched my project Who We Can Be. The title Who We Can Be came from Krista Tippett’s On Being interview in 2020 with Karen Murphy, the Director of International Strategy at Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit educational and professional development organization.

Now as we look forward to 2023, I believe it continues to be important to ask these powerful questions: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

In 2020, the On Being podcast inspired me to modify the Prayer of St. Francis, the Prayer of Peace, to include a loving kindness meditation. My goal was to make it more inclusive so it might better connect with individuals of diverse beliefs and cultures. I am continuing this tradition for my December 2022 post.

May this Loving Kindness Meditation inspire us to continue to imagine what is possible and to discover Who We Can Be!

Make me an instrument of peace.

  • Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
  • Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
  • Where there is discord, let me bring union.
  • Where there is error, let me bring truth.
  • Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
  • Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
  • Where there is darkness, let me bring light.
  • Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
      • May I not seek as much to be consoled, as to console.
              • May I seek not as much to be understood, as to understand.
                  • May I seek not as much to be loved, as to love.
                  • May it be in giving that I learn to receive.
                  • May it be in pardoning that I allow myself to be pardoned.
                  • May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace.
                  • May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.

                  May we embrace this message to help find the courage to take many small steps in 2023 to be Who We Can Be!