Font size: +


P3100060 125The other day, I noticed the October 9 Washington Post Parade magazine cover. It had a picture of the earth with the title “Awe” and caught my attention. The cover article talks about how feeling awe may be the secret to our health and happiness.

But what exactly is awe? As psychologist Dacher Keltner explains in the article, “Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast or beyond human scale, that transcends our current understanding of things.” Keltner heads the University of California (Berkeley)’s Social Interaction Lab. He studies emotions and helped Facebook to create its new “like” button emojis.

The first time I ever saw the Grand Canyon, I experienced awe: I watched a bright orange harvest moon come up over the horizon. But Keltner says that awe can also be much more accessible, like watching snowflakes or fireworks. If you haven’t read this article yet, Google it. It’s  a good article and it got me thinking about Kinship.

The same weekend that this article came out, your Kinship board and leadership staff met together for board meeting. Most of us were able to meet together in person, and those unable to travel to Maryland were still able to attend virtually. We used a camera so they could see us, they also turned on their web cameras, and about five members were able to be in the room with us while on the West Coast! The wonders of technology!

Not only did we discuss each member's and leader’s reports (the minutes will be online for members soon), we also took a half day on Sunday morning for much-needed leadership training from our organizational consultant, Ann Craig. It was a valuable training on board cohesion. When our board is more cohesive, we can work much more efficiently and get more things done to help Kinship grow and thrive! I felt extremely positive about this board meeting and Kinship’s future. This year, we have several new members and leadership staff on the board.

One of those new members said to me that she’d had no idea just how very hard we all work. It made me feel really good that she saw just how hard each one of us works for the benefit of Kinship. And the feeling I got after board meeting finished was a little like the awe I spoke about at the beginning of this message. When I see our leaders’ hard work and dedication, it inspires awe in me. Each person who pours their hard work, talents, gifts, and time into Kinship out of love for this organization is awe-inspiring to me. They do this so that Kinship will continue to grow and thrive for the benefit of our members around the world. And if feeling awe is the secret to health and happiness, no wonder I feel so good!

If you want to experience awe too, why not offer your talents and gifts to Kinship?  There may really be health benefits in doing so!

Yolanda Elliott
SDA Kinship International