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Peace in Leadership

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Friday, May 13, turned out to be one of the luckiest days of the year for me. I found myself at the Newark Peace Education Summit, learning from globally recognized figures about the importance of peace in achieving our dreams.

The conference, which was organized by Mayor Cory A. Booker, Tibet House US, and the Drew A. Katz Foundation, was graced with the presence of leaders from all over the world.

These international role models -- including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize Laureate Jody Williams, and Deepak Chopra -- sat alongside Newark-based community leaders, high school students, media moguls, entertainers, and survivors who all share a commitment to bring about peace for themselves and their communities.

A theme that resonated with me is that inner-peace is integral to the manifestation of community progress and the materialization of dreams. The power that one can draw from inner peace -- peace of mind, of acceptance, and of patience -- is a message I will bring to my amazing colleagues, coworkers, and the patients and families we help at Harboring Hearts. No matter what challenges we face, from that inner peace we can draw energy, focus, and inspiration.

Harboring Hearts is standing at a major crossroads. We are going through a lot of changes and need a lot of help. How can we best reach out to foster growth? How should we sort through the broad choices presented, and be confident on our path going forward? Most importantly, can we maintain a peaceful, productive presence in our community while accepting that the process of achieving our vision is not always in our control?

Spiritually speaking, these questions remind me of the own strength and patience I had to draw upon when my father was undergoing cardiac treatment and heart transplant three years ago. I am reminded of the emotional roller coaster of uncertainty and pain confronted by the patients and families we help every day. The Peace Summit reminded me of how that inner-peace is what often carries us through the day.

Peace in the community, inner-peace, and the peace within those whom we are trying to help, is at the heart of the charitable work we do. The commitment we have made at Harboring Hearts to help others is becoming a reality. As our journey is intertwined with the paths of those we are helping, we must draw upon our own inner-peace to stay true to our mission and never give up.