I stopped to ponder now and then during the day, I pondered on how fast this year has passed and how slow it has gone. I pondered at how little life has changed and how much we have grown. I pondered at the meaning of it all. I pondered at what life might have been like if Bernard was still alive. I pondered at what we might have done differently. I pondered whether I would be the same.
I miss him. I miss the security he gave me and everyone around him. His presence would soothe and comfort you in the worst moments. His directness would give you clarity. The absence of judgement was an experience that you seldom have in this life.
A full year has come and gone. I am still here. We are still here. Slowly but surely we have been developing our own skills and ideals, deciding who we want to be and how we want to live. Slowly but surely we have been developing our independence, our collective as well as individual drive in this task we have taken on. Slowly but surely we are giving ourselves the things that Bernard stood as. There is no way to say what may or may not have been, we only have what is here.
The resolve and commitment that I have seen in the people around me gives me the proof that humanity can change, that we are all capable of making choices that do not only benefit us personally, but of making choices that benefit the whole. We are capable of stopping a thought and changing our behaviour. We are capable of questioning that which we believed to be true without question. I am honoured to stand with such a group, a group who honour the principles that honour life.
It would be false to say that Bernard developed these principles, for they were already here. He took the best of what was already here and lived it. It would be false to say that he changed any person's life - what he did was give you the opportunity to change yourself with things as simple as a direct question.
I am proud to see how far we have come, how much we have overcome within ourselves. We have stood by the principles and tools that we have seen for ourselves work. We have overcome our reactions, thoughts, beliefs, fears, judgements and everything in between.
In order for us to really grow we had to step out from under the protection that Bernard gave us. It may not have been his intention to shelter us, but he did nonetheless. He would weather a storm if it meant another wouldn't have to. We got too comfortable in the safety and guidance he naturally gave out, we did not move ourselves. The only way that we could really stand up on our own was for him to die - we were not doing it on our own.
We have come a long way. I am grateful for the support of all the people around me. I am honoured to walk with so many who care so much about this life. If ever there was a group of people who will make a difference in this world it's this group. We have stood through the worst of times together and supported each other. There is still a ways to go and more to learn - I know that we can move ourselves through whatever comes and still stand by the principles that are best for all life.