Frequently people think compassion and love are merely sentimental. No! They are very demanding. If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action.
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The youngest of my three kids started preschool recently, and it got me thinking that I’m entering a new stage of life myself, a time when I can refocus on my career. More specifically, it got me thinking about how I might continue the work of my late grandparents, Guideposts cofounders Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale.
Someone suggested I write a blog for Guideposts.org. That sounded interesting except for one thing. One big thing. I’m not a writer. My background is in clinical social work, a profession I chose because I was inspired by my grandparents’ dedication to service and outreach. Could I write a blog and make it meaningful to someone—anyone? I wondered. What would Grandma and Grandpa have thought about this?
They were pretty game people, always willing to try something new. There was that time their children and grandchildren (yes, I’ll admit I exercised my persuasive powers) convinced them that our family had to spend Christmas in a setting totally different from their upstate New York home, someplace far away... like Africa. You should have seen my grandfather at age 90 on the banks of a river in Kenya washing out his undershorts and hanging them up to dry outside his tent!
That family Christmas on safari turned out to be unforgettable, and it occurs to me that Grandma and Grandpa would look at blogging as a new adventure that’s just as exciting and worthwhile. They would’ve been thrilled to learn about another way to reach people with true stories and messages of hope and faith and inspiration.
When Grandma and Grandpa started Guideposts back in the 1940s, they didn’t have all the answers as to how to make everything work, but what they had was faith. The magazines and books, the ministries and outreach programs that are part of Guideposts today all grew out of that. So I’ll take my inspiration from my grandparents and jump into blogging. Call it a leap of faith.
Thanks for staying tuned!
Katheryn (Katie) Allen Berlandi is the seventh of Guideposts cofounders Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale’s eight grandchildren. She is a clinical social worker with a private practice focusing on children, adolescents and families, and a consultant for Guideposts and the Guideposts Foundation. Katie lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and son.