Elicit the Best from Sun. September 25 by Louise Jett

Striving to bring out the best in others is a core value of mine. So, when deciding which story to tell, I could recognize a lot of possibilities from my recent and distant past. Lately, I have experienced being a part of the Activist Academy here at the Ethical Society. It is a free 12-week workshop that is teaching us how to make change in the world.

We are in the process of running a real activist campaign through which we hope to make an impact in the community. We have decided to raise money for the Missouri Abortion Fund as a part of our cohort’s activities.

We’re holding a silent auction during the Justice & Liberty for Abortion event this Thursday. I hope you consider coming. This entire experience is an example of a community of learners bringing out the best in one another to support a cause we care about: reproductive justice. Each Activist Academy student is brave enough to care, and the community we’ve created gives us the support we need to commit to and follow through on our desired ethical action.

Which reminds me of our congregation, another place where diversity in thought and approach has the potential and very often does bring out the best in all of us. Even when we’re not working toward a common goal, the support of this community and the values we champion remind me that I can speak out for myself and others. That I can make the world a better place.

And that brings me to my story, which is short and sweet. When I was a little girl, my Grandma Rachel loved me very much. In a cruel world, she filled me up with love. She told me no matter where I went, there I’d be, and she insisted I be an advocate for myself. After all, she wasn’t going to be around forever.

That love my Grandma gave me remains with me to this day: her love and my self love. It is like a protective bubble that makes life hurt a little less and gives me the courage to care. The courage to try to make that difference. And, I am not only an advocate for myself, but also for others, my students, friends and community members. So, my Grandma’s love continues to bring out the best in me. It is a driving force in my life.

It is one of the reasons I try. I joined the Activist Academy to learn how to transform our world, right the wrongs and help where I can. But, I wouldn’t be prepared or willing to help others without the confidence and love I have for myself. So, thank you Grandma, for your love. It continues to lift me up and shape my life and for that I am grateful.

Louise Jett
NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.