It is my privilege and honor to be serving as ESNT's president for 2017. I succeed Paul Strasburg, who has ably led our Board of Directors to become a well-functioning team. At our recent board retreat we could see, sense and feel that we are truly more than the sum of our parts. We have much work to do to ensure that we continue to be the vibrant and transformative organization that our mission and vision mandate.
Now more than ever, I feel a personal call to do this work. The brutality and divisiveness that characterized the U.S. election cycle lets us know there is much more work to be done around all the “isms” that separate us. Now many fractures in our society have been exposed; words of hatred and prejudice seem to be on the rise. In my day job as a psychologist, I’ve worked with clients around their upset and discouragement. I hope to lead them to a place where they can declare what they stand for and clarify how they want to be part of a solution.
Encouraging compassion for yourself and the other has been a cornerstone of Enneagram teaching and practice. It is a tool and a method we need more than ever before. In dealing with my own process over the last six months, I came across a video from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series from more than 30 years ago. His words about the Earth and its place in the universe struck me as poignantly relevant:
“In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves … It becomes our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to cherish and protect the only home we have ever known … this pale blue dot.”
The Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition has been my study for 20 years. Over the past nine years, it has been my community and a source of support and friendship through the Bergamo Learning Community (Enneagram Narrative Learning Community, OH). Now ESNT will become my cause and my call to action. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.