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June 14, 2017, 5:27 PM

Personal Reflections on Discovering URI

Personal Reflections on Discovering URI

My time at URI has been an enriching learning experience. I knew of the organization a little bit from my grandpa, John Weiser, who has worked as the chair of the URI President's Council, but I had no idea what it was really about. I half expected to go in and sit in a circle on the floor and talk about the world religions and the meaning of life with a really cool group of people, and while I actually did end up doing something like that once, it was so much more than that.

Everything about URI radiates support. I use that word because I think it encompasses love, appreciation and acceptance, a few of the many things that URI stands for. Each morning I would come in and be greeted by Dom who would always have a joke or a fun story to tell me. Throughout the day there would be multiple people stopping by my desk to see how I was, how the internship was going, etc. Even if I was just grabbing my lunch from the kitchen there was always a friendly smile and “hello” as I walked by. This environment was the reason I was able to ease in quickly and take advantage of all the things the group had to offer.

One thing in particular that stands out to be is the way that everyone reacted to a hostage crisis in the Philippines. You hear stories of tragedy every day, maybe even in places you have been before, or that you know well. I had only been working for about 2 weeks when the office got word that one of their Cooperation Circle members had been taken hostage. I was blown away by how quickly people sprang into action. The following day we sat in the meditation room and had a designated time to pray, meditate, send loving thoughts or reflect on the events in whichever way we saw fit. I think the most powerful thing of it all was how genuine the responses were. No one was saying that they wanted to “keep people in their prayers” or “send loving thoughts” because they would receive a badge of good service, or a like on Facebook. These were people coming together in the wake of a tragedy in a position of calm strength, unity and determination.

In my time at URI, I have learned that each day is a new opportunity to celebrate. Celebrate differences just as you would similarities. Celebrate the gift of mother nature. Celebrate the beauty of life. I am so grateful and touched to have worked with a group of such incredible, genuine and loving people, and especially a group that is so dear to my Grandpa. Thank you so much for including me into your family, I will take this lesson of love with me.

With Peace and Gratitude,

(I also learned that you don’t just have to end an email with “thanks or sincerely”)


Posted By:

Eliza Snodgrass

Eliza Snodgrass

North America


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