About Us – Janice S. Ellis

By Janice S. Ellis, PhD, Kansas City, MO —

It  is about us being engaged and staying engaged.  For her, how can we afford not to be? It is one thing to look at an issue or event and only see what it means for our lives today. It is quite another to analyze those same issues and events, and their potentially lasting impact on our lives, the lives of our children, our grandchildren tomorrow and beyond.  We are all too often consumed with “living in the moment” where a short attention span and instant gratification rules the day.

While there is value in looking at events from today’s perspective, the more we observe, the more we realize that broad, sweeping and lasting changes and conditions develop over time. The seeds are often planted long before we see the nature and kind of fruit – good or bad – that define the harvest. It is about us being engaged and staying engaged. That is the only way we can effect the outcome.

It Is About Us Being Engaged and Staying Engaged

Dealing with the conditions, circumstances and issues around us is much like raising children. What they ultimately become is a result of the kind of treatment they encounter and receive over time. It is about us being engaged and staying engaged with them on an consistent basis.

History is replete with men and women who took the longer view and worked for lasting change. Mother Theresa knew that she could not rid Calcutta of the ravages of the extreme conditions of poverty on its most vulnerable citizens in a week, a few months or several years. She spent a sacrificial lifetime trying to break its interminable grip.

When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took up the fight to rid this country of racial discrimination, he knew he was not dealing with a condition that occurred in a short time period. He also knew that real change did not nor would not happen overnight.

The more they saw and heard, the more they could not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear. They knew the meaning of the “Times” of their lives – as we must become acutely aware of the “Times” of our own.

Many of us are and can continue to be Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., in lesser or greater degrees.

They were engaged. It is about us being engaged and staying engaged.