Friday, July 31, 2015


I recently got a word of the day app because I am a firm believer that education never stops and because I like using words that aren't used often, it adds a certain flavor to the conversation.  That being said, I don't often get the chance to use words like coppice (a grove of small growth that is cut back at certain times for fuel or other reasons) in casual conversation, but some days the word strikes a cord.

My word today is evanescent.  If you've been reading along with my other blogs you'll remember that the title of my first post was Ephemeral.  Evanescent is defines as such, ephemeral, vanishing quickly, lasting a short time, quickly fading or disappearing.  Passing out of sight, memory or existence.

I'd like to keep my posts fresh and not write on the same topic twice in the same week so I'm going to try to spin this a little differently then my first blog.  I have talked about how everything in like is ephemeral, that life itself passes more quickly then we'd like to think, so today I think I'll talk about how we can still try to make our impact more then evanescent.

The AmeriCorps program that I am doing originated 50 years ago, well before AmeriCorps itself. The VISTA program came from the brilliant mind of JFK, it was the idea of a domestic Peace Corps and from there the Volunteers in Service to America was born.  The VISTA program is different from other AmeriCorps programs because though we work to alleviate poverty we do it from a capacity building perspective.

I don't go into a community and serve directly, I am essentially the woman behind the curtain trying to make sure everything runs smoothly.  This year I'll be fundraising, grant writing, recruiting volunteers and working on social media for the Urban League in Spartanburg. So far in my week at the office I've already written a communication plan and attempted to write a volunteer engagement plan (I say attempted because I am really not sure if I did it correctly, but no one has told me otherwise yet so I'm counting it as a win).

The idea of sustainability after I leave brings me back to my word of the day.  My presence in this office, in this city and probably this part of the country entirely is evanescent.  I'm going to finish my year here a better person and hopefully with a trajectory for my life but if I don't that's just fine.  

I have one overarching goal this year.  I want to leave a mark, I want to build the capacity of the Urban League, I want to leave in a year and know that what I am leaving behind in sustainable. I myself will be evanescent, I will leave in a flurry with nothing but some paperclips and pens as a physical reminder that I was once in the office, but what I did here won't be gone so quickly.

One person can make an impact, it won't be a meteor sized impact but it will make a difference none the less.  When you throw a small stone into a pond the splash is small but the ripples are far reaching, spreading over the pond long after the initial spot of impact has vanished.  I want to be that stone.

I leave you with a quote that I have next to my desk. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” - Rumi

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