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Jan 09, 2013

I love and dread the New Year’s season in equal parts. Love, because it’s a time to reflect on my life and to plan for the future. Dread, because it’s a time to reflect on my life and to plan for the future! You all know what I’m talking about! 

2013 feels like a major turning point for me. I’ve officially retired my student status and am out in the working world for the long haul. I’m no longer the child my family needs to take care of, but instead an adult who is contemplating having children of her own.  And I’m thinking about what meaningful things I can do for others, instead of what others can do for me.

It’s daunting to think about making this shift. But at the beginning of the year, I ran across this quote, which will sustain me.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman (1899-1981), an American author, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader spoke these words, and they completely flipped my future script. It’s not about figuring out what I’m “supposed” to do, it’s about continually discovering what I love to do, and then working with passion toward it.

After graduating from Morehouse College, Thurman served as the Dean of the Chapel at Howard University, among other prestigious posts. But in 1944, he left Howard to establish the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, Calif. It was the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States. He followed his passion, and made a lasting impact in the process.

In the same way, I feel very fortunate at the start of 2013 to be a part the CTU community, which is building interreligious and intercultural bridges — one of my biggest passions — every day. One of my goals this year is to expand my limited view of the possibilities in my life. To try new things, to courageously make mistakes, and hopefully discover what makes me come alive. I am confident CTU will be a launching pad for this year of discovery.

Karla Dawn Meier, Marketing and Communications Assistant. Reach me at or 773.371.5416.