One of the most troubling obstacles facing community leaders is burnout. Wonderful, passionate, hard working, dedicated, intelligent individuals can actually end up doing more harm than good for their cause as a result of burn out, or "compassion fatigue" as it is sometimes called. It happens to all of us on some level throughout the various stages of our lives. How do we keep going when we have grown weary from the fight? In our lives, in our homes, in our organizations we must take time to step back from the spinning wheel and appreciate just where we are. For all we dream and plan and share, the greatest beauty, the truest fruit of all our labor, goes by unnoticed unless we stop every once in a while and take it in.
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset. ”
~ Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
Surprisingly, this simple concept is perhaps the most difficult to implement regularly. Without it, burnout is inevitable. So we must teach and reteach, learn and relearn, how to incorporate the celebration of life into our daily practice. And because we cannot fully appreciate our successes without experiencing failures, our joys without sadness, our victories without defeats, we must learn to celebrate the significance of all of these moments.