Coming back from 7 days in the European Union, I feel reoriented in my world view. This is a well known benefit of travel. It doesn’t hurt that my work in Ireland was to attend, as a new member of the Executive Council, a meeting of the International Federation for Home Economics. This organization is the only international body for my discipline, is a recognized Non-Govermental Organization and is responsible for consulting to the United Nations about Home Economics. This means that the sort of colleagues joining me at the meeting are all seriously focused on the larger role of our profession in the lives of individuals and families in nations around the world.
It is always a good thing to learn of the struggles, concerns and fears of people whose lives are so different and yet so essentially similar to mine. I left the meeting and this island on the edge of another continent deeply affirmed in my desire for the record of my life, in the book of history, to be on the pages listing people who were brave and risked everything they have to defend values they hold as essential.
My ancestors, from Mennonites who carved a clearing in the 17th century Pennsylvania woods to 20th century widows shepherding their young children towards stern new fathers in dusty prairie towns, have been brave and possessed of the desire to live their Faith in freedom. Soaring across the sky in a mere fraction of their journey, from the height of this worldview, I can feel their strength in my spine and their faith flash in my eyes.