A wonderful beginning
Prayer Breakfast is held in Jefferson City the opening week of the legislative
session. The event brings together state officials and employees, religious
leaders, youth groups and good people from all walks of life.
It is a time when
our governor and others in state government seek spiritual guidance as
they resolve to work together for the common good. The prayers, scripture
readings and inspirational talks move individuals to work in harmony for
the good of all.
After a welcome from
Gov. Holden, Jean Carnahan, our former first lady and U.S. Senator, presented
the main address. She offered what she described as ancient gems of “take
The first is derived
from Tikkun Olam the Hebrew word for truth. It means “repairing
the world” by leaving it a better place than when we entered. The
broader meaning includes repairing relationships within our home, our
workplace and with others around the globe.
The second bit of
wisdom to “press on” came from Harriet Tubman, the former
slave woman who gained freedom in Canada and risked her life many times
to lead others to freedom. Harriet had a strict rule for those who accepted
her help. That being, once beginning their long and dangerous journey,
they could not turn back. No matter how difficult the trip, they understood
they would need to “press on.”
The third gem was
related through the story of a grieving mother who had lost her young
son. She asked Mother Teresa for wisdom to lift her from hopelessness
and despair. Mother Teresa said to her: “You will find my message
of wisdom in your own hand.” Pointing to each finger separately
she said: “God — is — with — you — always.”
The presence of God in our lives makes all things possible and all things
bearable. We are not alone,” said Carnahan.
After presenting her
inspirational address, Carnahan closed with the following poem:
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends . . . and true enemies.
Honesty and forgiveness makes you seem weak.
Be honest and forgiving anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest
people with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for some underdogs anyway.
What you spent years building may be torn down overnight.
Give the world the best you have and few may ever notice.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
breakfast was a wonderful beginning to what is shaping up to be a difficult
and demanding year for our state officials and employees. We can only
hope that the spirit of the prayer breakfast will be enduring for all
Stork was executive
vice president of the Association of Missouri
Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.