Read for the joy of it
One of the enjoyments of the work I do, journalism work, is the necessary reading. Then, from it, chancing upon sentences, phrases, paragraphs, single words, that reach out and grab me. Wow! I think. How true, or how artistic, or how clear. And often there’s a hint of poetry involved. Following are a few examples, some very timely.
A former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty while on duty on the street of taking the life of a black man.
On Tuesday, jurors cracked open the window of justice. And we see a little light.
From the Christian bible, John 11: 35:
Among the things I’ve read over the years, one of the richest in such phrases is Martin Luther King Jr’s. Letter From Birming-ham Jail. Come with me for a moment:
Justice too long delayed is justice denied.
We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.
From Amos, an Old Testament shepherd:
Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
Often such word gems catch us by surprise. This from Al-Anon’s little book Courage to Change, the April 22 page:
We let go of the burdens that were never ours to carry. And we begin to treat ourselves more kindly, more realistically.
From Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg:
We cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
From Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. He had been re-elected to a second term. A few weeks later his life ended:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Finally, a basic statement of support for another person is expressed below. One of the most delightful books I’ve read is an autobiography by tennis professional Andre Agassi, The book title is just one word, Open. Among his 20 years as a tennis professional, Agassi often was ranked number one in the world. On an occasion, his trainer, Gil Reyes, said to him:
“Andre, I won’t ever try to change you. . . .But I know I can give you structure and a blueprint to achieve what you want. There’s a difference between a plow horse and a racehorse. You don’t treat them the same. You hear all this talk about treating people equally, and I’m not sure equal means the same. As far as I’m concerned, you’re a racehorse, and I’ll always treat you accordingly. I’ll be firm, but fair. I’ll lead, never push. I’m not one of those people who expresses or articulates feelings very well, but from now on, just know this: It’s on, man. It is on. You know what I’m saying? We’re in a fight, and you can count on me until the last man is standing. Somewhere up there is a star with your name on it. I might not be able to help you find it, but I’ve got pretty strong shoulders, and you can stand on my shoulders while you’re looking for that star. You hear? For as long as you want. Stand on my shoulders and reach, man. Reach.
Returning to Martin Luther King Jr.,
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
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