“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th century friar dedicated to serving the poor and arguably one of the most compelling figures in Church history, admonished the friars in his order with this simple message. As a leader of organizations serving people impacted by poverty and injustice, I’ve seen the wisdom of these words play out time and time again.
Every day at Emmaus House, staff and volunteers help our neighbors do what is necessary and possible, and there are moments of inspiration when someone we’ve encountered achieves what seemed impossible. A father lands a long-awaited job after months of unemployment. A high school student gets the chance to go to camp in New England and fly on an airplane for the first time. These are just a few of countless examples.
Phil Daniels, former psychology professor at Brigham Young University, developed a tool for assessing one’s roles and activities in life and work, which can be summed up in these words: Keep-Stop-Start. I’ve found this reflective practice to be useful both personally and with organizations, and have even seen it adapted to include a fourth option: Improve.
Through your support and prayers, Emmaus House’ next chapter will be a story of the impossible becoming a daily reality in the lives of children, youth and families. We will only achieve this through ongoing reflection on what we, as an organization, should keep, improve, stop, or start. Thank you for walking this road with us.
Grace and peace,
Joseph D. Mole