Friday, September 12, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor: Governor David Patterson at the Presidential Forum on Service

Seeing the Presidential candidates at the Presidential Forum on Service at the Service Nation Summit was thrilling, but I think my favorite speaker last night was New York Governor David Patterson. He wasn't afraid to get spiritual and address our interconnectednes saying:
"Pope Gregory the first, known as Saint Gregory the Great, always admonished Christians to love their neighbors as they would love themselves. But he said that there are moments of epiphany where a person will find a bond with one whom they never met.

Pierre Avalar writing in the 12th century added to that by saying, 'There are moments of feelings of identic image in which individuals because of an intervening crisis start to see others as being part of them.'

And so I'm hoping that perhaps that Christian adage will take on a new meaning in the 21st century as more of us are involved in service as we come closer to that oneness of the human spirit and we, actually, re-amplify the idea of helping our neighbors as we would help ourselves, to helping our neighbors because they are ourselves."
Governor Patterson announced that he is elevating the Director of the Office for National and Community for New York State to a cabinet position. He is the second Governor to create a cabinet position devoted to service. California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger created the first when he added the position of Secretary of Service and Volunteering to his cabinet in February 2008.

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