Newsletter: Mission: Possible

by Sharon Gavin

"What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy spurred our nation forward in space exploration, setting out the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth within a decade.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his dream that his children – and all children – “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

It’s easy to dream, but figuring out how to make it come true, how to accomplish the impossible…that’s much more difficult.

The decision to pursue the dream of landing a man on the moon was not taken lightly; it came after a period of examination that looked at, as Kennedy said, “where we are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not.”

The beginning of a new year is often when people start to think about their dreams; what they’d like to accomplish or change. But too often, that’s where we stop. We don’t consider the strengths we have to make our dream our reality; or our shortcomings. The help we’ll need to be successful. How or where we can get that help.

Both Kennedy and King shared their dreams with others…and people throughout the country adopted those dreams as their own. They brought forth their ideas and added them to the mix that helped land a man on the moon, and are continuing to move us forward toward Dr. King’s “Beloved Community” where “poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Where racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

As you think about what you’d like to accomplish in the new year, remember that resources abound for dreams both large and small. You can change the world, make a difference in your community, help a child, save the planet. There’s a whole community available to help.

Happy New Year from Oregon Volunteers!

Posted on December 31, 2009.