STEP — Monday Motivational Meditation #386 — 2018-12-31

From Nursing Heart Inc on December 31, 2018; #386

Monday Motivational Meditation

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…
Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice,
suffering and struggle;
The tireless exertions and passionate concern
of dedicated individuals.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954
until his death by assassination in 1968.


A goal is achieved by taking a series of steps, but perhaps it’s the first steps that are most important. As a year comes to a close looking back over the year and all that happened; all the movements I made, the positions I took, the shifts and twists and turns, are worth recalling as I take those first steps into a new year. I may need to step in, step out, step up or step down and the attitude with which I will take those steps needs to reveal who I am.

Caring for others requires a lot of steps. There are protocols to follow, and like a dance, I want to be in step with the music. Going about my life as a caregiver with elegance and poise takes discipline. Knowing that I can always circle back to try something again, to refine the ability a little more, is also part of the process. If there’s anything to do as I move forward, it’s to know I can’t give up or say there’s no hope for improvement.

The footprint I want to leave with my life of caring is one that suggests that the experience of each person is valuable. There’s no one in this world undeserving of concern. I want the steps I have taken to deal with the issues before me to reveal a person with confidence, ability, and a caring heart. Though the actions that others are taking around me may upset me, I will not allow myself to become embittered or give up trying to make the world a better place.

Timeless Love, fill my heart with hope that the year ahead will provide opportunities to step into activities that make a difference for others. Help me to bring an attitude of possibility with each decision and step I take. May my movements reveal actions that inspire, lift up and support others. AMEN.

ACTION: There’s no better time to reveal the events of the year now coming to a close. What were the highs and lows of 2018. Talk to someone about the steps you plan to take in the year ahead.

Dale and Rich with a new addition in their family, great-niece Berkeley!

Dale Swartos is a Senior Speech and Language Pathologist at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore. Recently, Dale earned Certified Neonatal Therapist status. He and his husband, Rich, are busy with their extended family and working at their new home in Baltimore. Rich has just finished his tenure on the Board of Nursing Heart.

Dale writes, “I’ve noticed that a lot of photos I’ve taken lately are of doors, widows, stairs. I find myself curious about what is behind that door, where does that stair lead, who may be inside that window? It’s not unlike the questions Rich and I ask each other as we get older; ‘What’s around the next corner, what’s the next adventure?'”

It also seems an appropriate time for Nursing Heart to ask these questions especially in light of the transition we are entering. One step at a time is a good philosophy. We will see what’s waiting at the top of these “Steps” which is the name of this series as we start the New Year.
Learn more about this week’s photo: Nashville.


Nursing Heart Friends,

Truth to tell, there was a lot I didn’t know about founding or running a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2012. Seven years later, knowing all the work Nursing Heart has taken, the frightening moments that have come and gone, and how much sacrifice it would take on the part of so many, I should have had a bit more trepidation at its instigation. I believe Nursing Heart has been brought about by forces greater than myself.

Nursing Heart required leadership especially if it was ever to have its own life. Critical to the process of having a non-profit is a qualified functioning Board of Directors. Board membership has to be about more than just being a group of supportive, compassionate individuals. They have to understand Guatemala and govern from an on-the-ground perspective.

In year three of Nursing Heart, I was introduced to an anonymous benefactor who had been contributing since the beginning of NHI and was asked if I might be willing to help his organization as a consultant and receive his offer of increased support. With the help of this donor, I was able to add staffing, grow our programs and sources of funding, and engage consulting services.

With resources and a hard-working staff and leaders from institutions, Nursing Heart grew. In year four, we clarified our Mission and realized its dual motivations of helping small pueblos in Guatemala with the healthcare needs while utilizing the services of willing institutions from the USA who through the process have access to the culture. Even though we have never directly marketed the work of Nursing Heart, we have grown the number of groups we host and the budget it takes to support them. All the while we have learned what it means to build partnerships that foster hope and public health. Becoming a fully recognized Guatemalan Association in year five, we now can operate as an independent organization and not as an organization helping other NGOs provide services in this country.

When asked one year ago, in year six of the organization, if I would consider full-time work with our benefactor, I approached the NHI Board and shared that I thought NHI could take the bold step to pass the leadership role on to a new Executive Director. The NHI Board supported me in this direction and implemented a search process to find a replacement. That process is complete, and NHI is now in transition with the ED designate, who will work at my side over the next six months and gradually assume the role. We are so blessed to have the time to allow this to unfold. In these months, the ED designate, and I will clarify the spirit of Nursing Heart and review all aspects of the ED role while making our way through the busiest time of utilizing visiting nurses to provide services to communities in Guatemala.

Stay tuned. Next week I will introduce you to the new Executive Director who will take Nursing Heart forward. At this moment, I am tremendously grateful and awed by your trust and for the opportunity to serve the people of Guatemala. For me, Nursing Heart has been a testament that the Divine Universe will not abandon the cries of those who suffer in any way.


Quotes of the Week

It’s time to take a step.
The future of NHI is must be entrusted to nurses everywhere!

Ron Noecker
Executive Director
Nursing Heart Inc
La Antigua, Guatemala

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