One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do,
determined to save the only life you could save.
Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
“The most fortunate people on earth
are those who have found a calling
that’s bigger than they are—
that moves them and fills their lives with
constant passion, aliveness, and growth.”
— Richard Leider
Do something everyday
for no other reason than you would rather not do it,
so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh,
it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.
What should you do today that you would rather not?