“We cannot change the past, and we cannot fully control our future. But we can live fully in the present”.
There are moments in our lives when we reflect on our life, our goals, our interactions with others, and take stock of what we have been given and wonder what is to come.
While we cannot change the past, we can use the lessons from the past to adjust the present.
Living in the present we often allow worry to consume us, our thoughts involving health, finances, and relationships can become like weights around us. “What if” scenarios creep in and cloud our mind. We allow others to define who we are and sometimes fear the future.
What if instead we start our day with gratitude, reflect on the beauty that surrounds us and accept that this moment is all we have, much of the rest is beyond our control. Reflecting internally helps us to define who we are, and realise that the love of self and others is really what defines this life.
Our volunteers do just that on a daily basis, by caring for other humans without thinking of themselves, and they have been doing this for well over a century and a half, as the Society celebrates 175 years in Ireland helping people in poverty.
We might feel hopeless and think will there ever be an end to the suffering and struggles that people endure? But what if SVP was not there, that our 11,000 volunteers didn’t care? What type of society would we be looking at today? We might not be able to solve all the problems of the world, but we can do our best to solve what we can.
In this edition, we reflect on the work of the Society over time to present day, from local Conference level to national level petitioning the government to make changes so that as a nation we can alleviate the suffering of so many. You will read articles on homelessness and members’ experience, child poverty and energy poverty. Items illustrating the amazing support SVP received from the public during the Christmas Annual Appeal from schools, companies, the public and the media. The impact our retail outlets are having in many local areas, for example, holding fashion shows and showing the difference volunteering can have on a person. You will also read some of the work being carried out by other Vincentians in other parts of the world, demonstrating the reach of the Society.
So I would urge all our members, in the year that is in it, to commend yourselves for your dedication and hard work in helping others. And to learn about and appreciate that what the Society has done in the past, is doing today and will continue to do into the future does make a difference.