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  • Joan Catherine Braun, United Way Bay Area

What do you stand for?

"I realize that the ones I struggle with are the most transformative. For instance, am I able to hear the commitment behind the complaint? When someone launches into a heated indictment of what doesn’t work for them, am I able to honor their commitment to getting it right rather than defend against their anger?

In the rare moments I am able to act from that perspective, the ground shifts. Gone is us and them; in its place is we. There is curiosity, a hand extended instead of folded tightly on the desk. When I am able to see the commitment, I understand the question Monica taught us to ask without judgement, without shame, and without recrimination. "Am I in integrity with my stand?" If I am, then I am sustaining myself, my colleagues, our clients. If I am not, someone—myself, others—is doing without. That simple measure--am I in integrity with my stand--is revolutionary."

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