WORDS OF INSPIRATION………
There are people in this world who just seem to instinctively know how to tease out the random thoughts that flit through our brains and bring together words that express exactly how we are feeling. Maya Angelou does that for me.
Maya is an American poet, actress, writer, director and producer. She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult that included working as a line cook in a fast-food restaurant, a sex worker and a nightclub dancer. Those experiences shaped her life and philosophy as a black woman struggling to find herself on the gritty streets of St. Louis, Missouri.
Maya is a widely published author and her works are used in schools and universities worldwide, although several attempts have been made to ban her books from some US libraries, primarily because she shines a light on the dark underbelly of racism that exists in American society and around the world. Canada is no exception when it comes to racism. We are usually just more polite about it!
In the midst of this time when the world seems turned upside down, here are a few of her quotes that speak specifically to me and inspire me……
We may encounter many defeats, but we will not be defeated. In a time when we are feeling hemmed in by our social distancing and being encouraged to stay home, there are days when we feel that this will never end. And, yet, we must continue to be vigilant and committed to the safety and well being of ourselves and others. We will not be defeated by this pernicious, vicious virus.
Everybody is worth everything. Are you hearing the echo of Jesus in these words? It was the foundation stone of his earthly ministry – that everybody is worth everything – even to the point of giving his very lifeblood to stand with the marginalized and broken-hearted.
You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been. Our personal lives matter. So it is important to examine our lives to see what lessons we have learned along the way and then use that wisdom to inform our decisions as we move forward.
Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better. This is one of my favourites! Sometimes we can get stuck in a way of thinking or acting that has been harmful or hurtful to others. We perhaps don’t know any better. We are doing the best we can at that particular moment in time. But by being open and willing to learn, we come to know better and then we must do better. I think this has become especially important to me because I have been immersed in religious dogma all of my life. I spent nine years in post-secondary study for goodness sake! But I have come to see that some of the edicts of the church have truly been harmful to the soul of the human spirit. My life experience has taught me to put aside the dogma and look to the heart. I am trying to do better with that thing called unconditional love which was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry.
Whining is just unbecoming! Sometimes we forget ourselves and start to whine. This has certainly become apparent during our current pandemic. We whine about needing a haircut. We whine about social distancing. We whine about not being able to get to our local bar or spa. Time to get a grip and recognize that we do not live in a vacuum. Our needs are being met. We are blessed to live in a developed country where public health officials and our governments are working to get us through this, trying to keep us safe and our heads above water economically. It will require our collective will and determination to wrestle this virus to the ground. Whining, as Maya says, is just unbecoming!
May you keep safe and healthy during this unprecedented time in our human history. May you know that you are worth everything. May you feel the healing power of God’s love for you.