ILCA Women’s Networking Group

ONE by corumkeller
July 23, 2009, 4:23 am
Filed under: 1

By Christa Orum-Keller

               “Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.  —Pearl S. Buck

Upon my invitation to join the ILCA board, I was asked to write a brief membership message.  My message is “Together we can do more.”  Or more simply put ONE.

Last week I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life.  My husband and I traveled to Taiwan to pick up our nine month old daughter.  I had never traveled to Asia.  As a small child, I remember my Danish grandmother, telling we children, as we dug enormous holes in the earth in her garden, that she thought we might dig all the way to China.  Asia, was literally half way around the world, as far away, as different and as exotic as Europeans or Americans could get.

I firmly believe that conflicts big or small result primarily from two things.  Lack of knowledge, information or understanding about something, someone or a situation foreign to us.  And secondly, from the conscious decision a person, people, group or society makes to insulate itself.  This includes decisions to invite into one’s group only like individuals and exclude or even eradicate those who are different.

As we experienced Taiwan, visited sites and museums, met people, got to know them, learned how to say a few simple things in Chinese, I found myself pondering how we humans determine what is similar and what is dissimilar.  We have a great need for connection, and connection to something we know which gives us comfort.  Whether we are babies or adults, sameness and routine calm and connect us.  But staying in a state of sameness also isolates us and can keep us from growing.  It can breed fear and a sense of danger; it can cause us to make foolish decisions; it can breed war.

Whether peace results from collaboration or the other way around, either one involves starting with compassion.  An interest in understanding someone different from us, and a respect or appreciation for those differences, or at the very least tolerance.  All too often we see the challenges and problems of the world as others’ business – not something we effect in our daily lives, but we do.  Small things can have big meaning.  Through our actions, words, and thoughts we express ourselves as we interact with every individual – friend or foe – we are witnesses to our children, friends and colleagues.  May we choose tolerance, expansive thinking, inclusive words and be witnesses for ONE way.  A way in which “Together we DO more.”  And a way in which we are witnesses for big and small peace, in our corner of the earth where those of you reading this belong to a group trying to make our world a little greener.

As we flew from Taipei to Tokyo to Chicago, with our small, fine, beautiful dark eyed, dark haired daughter in our arms, I heard U2’s song One playing and found the words inspiring, uplifting and challenging.  The world is not an easy place.  Together there is always more to do.  We are not the same.  We must carry each other and we must act as one.

Lydia Chen-Ching





ONE by U2 (portions of lyrics)


Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame

Well it’s, Too late, Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to, Carry each other, Carry each other

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it’s all I got
We’re one, But we’re not the same
Well we, Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple, Love a higher law
Love is a temple, Love the higher law

One love, One blood, One life – You got to do what you should
One life, With each other
Sisters, Brothers
One life, But we’re not the same
We get to, Carry each other, Carry each other


5 Comments so far
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Beautifully articulated! Well said! Thank you for sharing this personal moment with us. Why can’t we all just get along and play nice in this great big sandbox? I guess we can start with our own group. Thanks, Christa. Terre

Comment by Terre Houte

Thanks Terre! Love your messages too – I admire your ability to express wonderful meaning in a so much more concise way than me! c

Comment by corumkeller

Christa, Beautiful message and beautiful, little girl. Glad you are all home safely and securely. Enjoy!

Comment by Laura Weldon

🙂 Well said!

Comment by Lori

Christa- Congratulations!!!
Lovely article- I admire your positive spirit.

Comment by Laurin Robertson

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