I'm Standing on the Shoulders

I'm Standing on the Shoulders


I imagine you’ve heard this song before, but it fits well with this week’s YLBG. It is a beautiful song by Joyce Johnson Rouse.
"I am standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before me I am stronger for their courage, I am wiser for their words I am lifted by their longing for a fair and brighter future I am grateful for their vision, for their toiling on this Earth.
We are standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us They are saints and they are humans, they are angels, they are friends We can see beyond the struggles and the troubles and the challenge When we know that by our efforts things will be better in the end ..."


I don’t know for certain, but I suspect it is the Ohio weather and lack of sunshine that have me struggling to find inspiration lately. But I did have an odd realization earlier this week.

I was in a pensive mood Tuesday morning. We had just a bit more than a dusting of snow on the ground. It was early in the morning. I was wrapped up in all of my cold-weather gear and walking the dog … again. As I walked the slightly snowy sidewalks, I became aware of the footprints in the snow. Sometimes I was walking in fresh snow without footprints. Then, there would be sections with scattered prints, usually in a driveway around cars. Sometimes, I was walking the path after some earlier dog walker. I could see their boot prints along with their pup’s paw prints. I noticed the difference in shoe sizes and paw sizes. Some people, I noticed, must have walked to their car in heels. I don’t even do that in clear weather.

At some point toward the middle of my walk, I realized the one thing I never saw – my own footprints. I don’t know why I never realized that before, but, we don’t ever see our own footprints. It got me thinking, just as we never see our own footprints, we often do not see the results of the actions we take now on issues about which we care deeply (climate or otherwise.) But, at the same time, just as I looked at the variety of footprints already on the sidewalk, (human, canine, and other) there have been many before us doing the hard work of advocacy and action. And there will be others looking at our footprints as they make their journey.

I am grateful for those among you, who have trod the path before me. The work of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation is in the DNA of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and it has grown outward to all who have encountered you.


Speaking of footprints, maybe this week you could find your carbon footprint and research ways to reduce it as much as you can. There is a Carbon Footprint Calculator . I’ve found this resource for ways to reduce your footprint.

Find and reflect on the people who have gone before you. Or, maybe reflect on the footprints you have left for others to follow.

Mostly, I like to follow the advice I received years ago from one going before me. “Just keep walking forward!” And try not to forget that our Good God is right there too.

With you, we change lives

With the support of generous friends like you, we are able to continue our mission of educating and taking a stand with those in poverty— especially women and children.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.