Building a Future Not Our Own

By Cheryl Mahoney

Sometimes I feel my constant mantra on this site is about how every small action counts.  I say it often and I believe it.  The world is so huge, effects and consequences and results so hard to discern.  The problems of the world are far-reaching, but I believe that the good actions we take are far-reaching too.  Donating a few dollars for orphans on the other side of the world, switching out an energy-inefficient light bulb for a better one, helping a friend in need…it all counts.  It all builds a better future.


My philosophical bent today was inspired by a prayer I recently read, titled “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own.”  You may have seen it referred to as The Romero Prayer, as it is frequently cited to Oscar Romero, though my sources tell me it was originally written by Bishop Ken Untener. 


The prayer speaks to the idea that we may not achieve change in the world ourselves, but we can work towards it.  We may never see the end results of what we do, but yet we can do it, and believe that it matters.  Let me quote just a few lines.

“This is what we are about: We plant seeds that one day will grow.  We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.  We lay foundations that will need further development.  We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.  We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.  This enables us to do something…”

Let’s do something, and create a better future, whether we see it or not.

If you’d like, you can read the prayer in its entirety here.  Just scroll to the bottom of the page.


One thought on “Building a Future Not Our Own

  1. I like the idea of doing something, even if you don’t actually see the outcome. Sometimes it is the cumulated effect of lots of small actions that makes a difference in the world. Good post, and a very practical prayer.

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