In the face of the hurricanes, tropical cyclones and earthquakes and now wildfires that have devastated so many communities in the past two months it is easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by human suffering. But, there is not only darkness; we find hope as we witness an upwelling of the latent nobility of the human spirit.
Many take huge risks to help their neighbors, sometimes traveling long distances to bring assistance. Others, feeling the need to help, seek out organizations to which they can make a much needed financial contribution. All of these individual efforts are most effective when they have a foundation of community relationships and the structure of government and civil society already in place before disaster strikes.
Disasters are a reality of life in this world, but Susila Dharma projects are not aimed at disaster relief. Our goal is to build the strength and sustainability of individuals and of the social institutions, family and community, so that when adversity or disaster come, webs of relationship—emotional, intellectual, economic and material—are there already, giving the people a foundation on which to build and rebuild their lives and their communities.
Susila Dharma works to develop skills, understanding and resources people need to build healthy and sustainable communities, free from violence and fear, where children can be raised in the hope of a bright future, the sick and elderly will be cared for without the hardship, and there is harmony between humanity and the natural environment that sustains us and the Spirit of God that fills our lives with meaning.
To all who have endured suffering, experienced the ravages of natural disasters, or have loved ones who have been in peril, for all those we love and care about enduring difficulties and loss, we wish each of you the peace, comfort and safety of better times to come. Susila Dharma is working to create the communities and ourselves develop into the individuals who can sustain those communities with grace and love in the future. May grace encircle all of us…
Aminah Hermann, Chair,
and the Board of Directors of
Susila Dharma USA