A Mind Not Filled With Despair Online Free [BETTER]
God of mercy and compassion, of grace and reconciliation, pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East: Jews, Muslims and Christians, Palestinians and Israelis. Let hatred be turned into love, fear to trust, despair to hope, oppression to freedom, occupation to liberation, that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces, and peace and justice could be experienced by all.
A Mind not Filled with Despair online free
Dear God, the world seems so dark and foreboding. Where are the signs of hope? What are you calling us to do? Wars, uprisings, displacements, hunger, poverty, and disease continue to claim victims by the millions around the world each year. Our ears do not want to hear their stories and our eyes do not want to see their plight because the suffering and destruction is so massive and cruel. In our hearts and minds there is a desire to help somehow, but the crisis seem so overwhelming that we shake our heads in dismay and we wonder what the point is for us even to attempt to be witnesses for healing and hope in this hellish morass. We beg with the song writer to open our eyes that we may see glimpses of truth you have for us. Help us to follow the path of Jesus, the Suffering Servant. Give us the courage to be willing to walk the path of depression and pain with the victims of injustice here at home as well as abroad. Help us to seek ways to light candles of hope, however small, through our words, our deeds, and our prayers, to encourage our sisters and brothers to hold onto the faith in spite of the pain and suffering they are facing. And help those of us who are among the fortunate ones, who have enough bread to eat, good health, and who live in relative peace, to open our heart to learn from our sisters and brothers who are living lives of grace and forgiveness in the horrid circumstances which surround them. O God, help us to light one candle rather than to curse the darkness. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who knows what being a light in this dark world is all about.
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you. To your messengers the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all the good things you provide for us on this Earth.
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The language in which we tell ourselves these stories matters tremendously, too, and no writer has weighed the complexities of sustaining hope in our times of readily available despair more thoughtfully and beautifully, nor with greater nuance, than Rebecca Solnit does in Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities (public library).
If you have research interests which would justify use of the Bodleian collections (every book published in the UK and then some) you can get a reader card and use the libraries whenever you want. Huge freedom in being to use a copyright library without any reading lists or deadlines. Also warm place to sit for free.
There was a week in the summer where three people independently told me to read Penelope Fitzgerald\u2019s Offshore, which is about a community of people living on boats on the Thames, and then I met her granddaughter at a bar so I took that as a sign. It\u2019s a beautiful, offbeat, wryly funny novel, where characters are painted through the loving and incisive observations of others. All the characters are, strictly speaking, insane, having drifted away from normal society by some process that they observe with various degrees of denial and understanding: Maurice, the male prostitute who builds a Venetian corner on his boat; Nenna, whose willingness to accept the failure of her marriage creeps in only slowly and in half-light; her two feral daughters chasing Stripey the mud-covered cat who sleeps on the chimneys, filling alternating boats with smoke every night. There\u2019s a precise economy of prose that reminds me of Jean Rhys but with a dry, quick British wit that\u2019s more like a Fry & Laurie sketch. There are no devastating social failures here, no irredeemable or sinister social dropouts, just a cast of odd and alive people whose inner lives and self-deceptions and attempts at understanding are painted with lightfooted generosity\u2014people whose \u2018certain failure, distressing to themselves, to be like other people, caused them to sink back, with so much else that drifted or was washed up, into the mud moorings of the great tideway.\u2019
Accounts of her life suggest that her conflict was not with the content, necessarily, but the very concept of writing for others at all. In 1999, she noted in a private journal, \u201CWhat are books? They are minds, Satan\u2019s minds. . . . Devils gain access through the mind: printed books carry, each one, an evil mind: which enters your mind.\u201D She was afraid of finding someone else\u2019s thoughts left behind in her personality, like a strange scarf unearthed from the sofa cushions after a party. Books were the most acute threat to the sanctity of the bordered self. Of course, Tonks is right: that is what reading does\u2014it places another\u2019s mind in your own mind. It is the swiftest metaphysical delirium we have, impossible to replicate. The immensity of what reading feels like should not be discounted by its omnipresence in our daily lives. How do we distinguish between the sentences that sprout and green from our own selves, the arcane loam of the individual, and the sentences that fall and land there, alien and already bloomed?
Today, by coincidence or providence, I found a volume of her poetry in a friend\u2019s office. I sympathise with the paranoid-magical approach to reading; books always seem to appear at the right time or to suggest themselves on the shelf when my mind is primed to be shaped by them\u2014though I tend to think of this activity as divine rather than demonic (perhaps this is a difference between Catholic and Evangelical Christianity: a tradition always unrolling, guided by the hand of God.)
It is impossible to begin this lecture without again expressing my deep appreciation to the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament for bestowing upon me and the civil rights movement in the United States such a great honor. Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meaning can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. Such is the moment I am presently experiencing. I experience this high and joyous moment not for myself alone but for those devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice and who in the process have acquired a new estimate of their own human worth. Many of them are young and cultured. Others are middle aged and middle class. The majority are poor and untutored. But they are all united in the quiet conviction that it is better to suffer in dignity than to accept segregation in humiliation. These are the real heroes of the freedom struggle: they are the noble people for whom I accept the Nobel Peace Prize.
Let me not leave you with a false impression. The problem is far from solved. We still have a long, long way to go before the dream of freedom is a reality for the Negro in the United States. To put it figuratively in biblical language, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt and crossed a Red Sea whose waters had for years been hardened by a long and piercing winter of massive resistance. But before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance. But with patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the leveling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.
This approach to the problem of racial injustice is not at all without successful precedent. It was used in a magnificent way by Mohandas K. Gandhi to challenge the might of the British Empire and free his people from the political domination and economic exploitation inflicted upon them for centuries. He struggled only with the weapons of truth, soul force, non-injury, and courage10. 350c69d7ab