We are still rising. When Maya Angelou wrote the poem “Still I Rise” years ago, she caused us to reflect on our strengths. It is an inner power that keeps us moving in challenging times. I sing the song “We Shall Overcome” for clarity of thought–thought that reveals process, movement, not stagnation.
GROWTH MEANS ASCENSION
In her song, “Rise Up,” Andra Day is issuing a proclamation. It is not a cry of defeat. It’s a promise. She’s letting us know that even when the waves are high and the spine aches, there is something in us that propels us upward. We all have the capacity to dig deep and find it.
PRACTICE TO BECOME PERFECT
Self-respect, self-reliance and self-determination are not achieved through “a bed of roses,” but through human suffering. One of the most difficult things to overcome, is the loss of a child. The pain cuts into the very soul. But . . . such experiences give us practice if we use them wisely. Perfection comes from knocking down imperfections. It is through darkness that we discover the light.
DEMONSTRATION IS GIVING
Demonstration does not mean receiving, it means giving, sharing the qualities that bring peace. Understanding the true meaning of peace, comes from wading through adversity. The Oxford School murders in Michigan caused every compassionate heart to weep for the parents of those children. Babies shot while sleeping in their homes, move all of us to examine what it means to be humane, kind and gain a deeper meaning of life.
WE ARE STILL RISING
The first time I heard the song “You Raise Me Up” I focused on myself …what it meant to lift me up when I fall down. Years later, I recorded a classical version of the song, and realized I am lifted when I reach out and give a hand to someone else. There are many ways to do that. Sometimes, it’s giving someone a ride out of the rain, speaking a kind word or just listening to a heart that’s broken. The words of the song tell us we can “walk on stormy seas.” Life is a journey of mountains to climb and stormy seas to walk on. How well we do it, determines . . . if we are still rising.