Thursday, November 8, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
I had an inspiring day Friday, and I have something I would like to tell you.
In the morning, I attended the funeral of a friend's mother, then after work I saw Dr. Maya Angelou perform at the Paramount Theater. In both places I heard readings that struck a deep chord with me, which I feel compelled to share.
I went to the funeral service first thing in the morning. The priest delivering the sermon read from Matthew 25:31 - 40
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’"
When he read the last line I felt something change in my world. The concept that we are all interconnected and that good (or bad) actions affect us all is not a new concept to me, but when he read that line, I did see the concept in a new way. I thought about it several times during the day, up to the time that we saw Maya Angelou.
In case you aren't aware of her credentials (as I wasn't until Friday night), Dr. Angelou was born in 1928 and in addition to having played the grandmother on the
series "Roots" in the 80's, has taught philosophy in 3 different languages as well writing poetry, singing, dancing, songwriting and a myriad of other creative activities. She holds over 30 honorary degrees and is a lifetime professor at Wake Forest. Whether you agree with her social leanings or not, she is a towering intellect and, despite her now frail body, has a presence that completely fills the theater. When talking about one of her inspirations, she quoted Terence, a black slave from the Roman empire, who famously said,
"I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me."
Hmmmmm. So despite the fact that his station in life was that of a Roman slave, he could still understand and take ownership of any human action, strength or shortcoming. So why couldn't I do that?
I'm making a New Year's resolution 2 months early this year to be more willing to accept what other people are and do, and to better duplicate their viewpoint and to help them from that perspective.