by Ed Gurowitz
I’ve never heard a mission statement with a zip code. You know, like: “I create a world of love and peace by opening my heart, but only in 89451.”
One of the touchstones of our work in MKP is Margaret Mead’s famous admonition “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Knowing that, we boldly take on missions to change the world, not just our little part of it.
I’ve been an activist all of my adult life – the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the peace movement, my goal has always been to change the world. Not long ago I realized when that audacious idea started for me.
One of my early memories is of my father tucking me in bed – I must have been 6 or 7 – on a cold stormy night, and out of my feeling warm and loved and taken care of, I said “Isn’t it too bad that there are little kids who don’t have a warm bed to sleep in?” “It is,” my father replied, “but there’s nothing you can do about it.” My instant response (to myself) was “yes there is! There must be!” and from then on, my life was about changing the world.
Thinking back on that incident, I feel deep sadness at my father’s resignation – here was a man who, in his twenties, escaped from Czarist Russia in the baggage car of a train across Asia, made a successful sales career in Shanghai, came to America, and built a family and a small, but generally thriving business. Yet, somehow, life had broken him to where his vision could not extend beyond the boundaries of his family and his business.
But I can also empathize. I can count many times in my life when I heard the siren song of giving up, being comfortable, going for the short-term personal gains and forgetting about the bigger mission. For me, the NWTA was the death blow to resignation. In a community based on “one good man with other good men,” I realized that I had found the “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” that Margaret Mead talked about.
My mission has no zip code, and I assert that yours doesn’t either. We are grown-ass men, stepping up to create a world where…. My membership in MKP USA is my ID card as a member of that community, and wherever I go in the world, I know that, in the words of West Side Story, “I got brothers around, I’m a family man.”
Thank you, my brothers, for being men with a mission. Together we will change the world.
Till next time, Aho!
Out with Gratitude,