That all would be purer, braver and stronger

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Our seven founders – all students at Iowa Wesleyan College in the latter part of the 1800s – wanted to create a group built on true friendship. Now the Philanthropic Educational Organization has become a sisterhood of nearly 250,000 throughout the United States and Canada.

And all of those sisters? In all of those local chapters? They start their meetings the same way and with the same prayer: that all with whom we come in contact with will be purer, braver and stronger for having spent time with us.

That’s a big prayer. A hard prayer. Leaving every one we meet in a better place than when we found them.

The kid with the runny nose who has asked for the iPad at least 28 times before noon. The woman at the Department of Motor Vehicles who tells you – even in the year 2015 – your debit card is not welcome there. That guy everyone brags about at work, you know which one I mean. The person who only likes things that are her idea.

Purer. Braver. Stronger.

That’s an investment, friends. That’s saying I’ll recognize when a policy is out of your control. I’ll see when you are hurting, when you are afraid. I’ll listen to the whining and hear that you really don’t need more technology, you just need more interaction and more time with me.

It means in the rush of the day, I’ll take a moment to really see you. I’ll choose compassion over completing my to-do list. I’ll pick building you up instead of bullying you into doing what I want. I’ll join like-minded sisters and raise millions to offer formal educations to thousands of women – and I’ll know that the fundraising is the easy part.

Purer. Braver. Stronger.

That’s where the real work lies. And there’s plenty for all of us.