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When We Each "Light One Corner," We Make a Collective Impact

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

As we enter 2022, it could be easy to feel overwhelmed. We are dealing with another COVID surge and soon, we will mark the second anniversary of the start of the pandemic. Many of us are managing stress – for ourselves and those we care about. Some of us may feel stretched thin, and it can feel challenging to think about setting goals for the coming year.

When I get overwhelmed I remember that in the Lotus Sutra, Buddha says to “light up one corner – not the whole world.” The idea is to make things clear where you are – not to try and set the goal of saving the whole world by yourself. Sometimes my very best contribution to others is to focus on my corner!

By doing that – shining a light in our corner – we illuminate one another and then others can shine their light and so on.

Making the world lighter is not one person’s task. Our job is to do the best we can where we are, and collectively we make a lighter world. Shining the light in our corner is how we help the world – each of us doing our part.

Every day our Cypress team works with people who are shining their corner of the world. We work with folks on the front lines of the pandemic – in health care, public health, and education. We work with people who are striving for equity and inclusion for others. We work with people who are lighting up their corner at home – supporting their loved ones, helping a neighbor or volunteering in their community. We work with people who show small kindnesses to one another – a message in a Zoom chat box or an encouraging emoji when someone shares a story with the group.

At Cypress, we see the collective impact of each person’s light – and how those individual lights lead to change and equity and compassion. We see in each workshop a group of people coming together to de-stigmatize talking about trauma or mental health challenges or grief. We see in every person, someone with a light who is showing up and trying to make the path a little bit brighter for someone else.

We don’t have to be super heroes to make a difference. We just need to shine the light in our corner, and that helps others do the same.

So if you feel overwhelmed these days, take a deep breath and remind yourself “Just light up one corner.”

Here’s to 2022 – we look forward to being your partner this year!

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