I was asked to provide the opening non-denominational invocation/prayer at the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals this week. I consider myself somewhat spiritual, moderately introspective, and a decent writer … I guess NAGLREP thought the same so I was very much honored to have been asked.
I am posting this here for a number of reasons. First, when the task landed on my plate, the first thing I did was hit google for samples of non-denominational business-conference-appropriate invocation ideas and samples. The google results were lacking so I am posting this here thinking someone may land on this looking for ideas for business-appropriate conference-ready reflection. So please, use any portion of this you like, no credits required. Second, I had numerous conference attendees ask if I would share a copy of the invocation, so here it is.
I would like to start this invocation, this reflection, with a moment of silence for everyone impacted by Hurricane Matthew, for lost lives, for struggling communities.
In this world of infinite possibilities, may we strive to be compassionate and giving professionals. May we celebrate our opportunities to practice servant leadership, to lend a helping hand to those in need.
In this world of infinite possibilities, may we recognize the goodness in everyone we meet and be thankful for all the effort that went in to bringing us together today.
In this world of infinite possibilities, may we strive to make a difference.
As we begin this conference, let us frame the experience with the wisdom of Maya Angelou’s, “I’ve Learned” (the shorter version):
- I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.
- I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
- I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
- I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
- I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
- I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
In this world of infinite possibilities and this week of new opportunities, may we understand the wisdom of making a life, always strive to give more than we receive, open our hearts in our decision making, reach out to new friends, recognize that we all still have a lot to learn, and recognize that people will never forget how you made them feel.