The Power of a Speechless Statement
As I grow older, I look for those moments without words. I value them. Those interstitial times are catalytic points for movements, for conversations, for acts of goodness to emerge. But they often go unnoticed. One of those moments occurred in Mexico City in 1968…
John Carlos, the bronze medalist in the 200 meter event depicted in the photo above, once said:
“We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat, and he said ‘I’ll stand with you’. I expected to see fear in Norman’s eyes, but instead we saw love.”
That man was the Australian sprinter and silver medalist Peter Norman. An Italian writer pays tribute to the little-known story of the silver medalist on the podium that day. His quiet, iconic public stand for human rights reveals a heartening, surprising story of alliance and brotherhood. An absolute must-read.
“Photos are less markers of memories than they are Web-browser bookmarks for our lives. And, just as with bookmarks, after a few months it becomes hard to find photos or even to navigate back to the points worth remembering.”
This provocative piece in The New Yorker points at the ubiquity of photography in our lives, and how our relationship with photographs is changing. Although I may not always like the snap-everything mentality, it’s now integral to our culture and living in the Cloud.
The civil rights leader John Lewis talks about how he and others studied and trained to act with nonviolence, a story that often doesn’t get conveyed when learning about history:
“You have to be taught the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. In the religious sense, in the moral sense, you can say that in the bosom of every human being, there is a spark of the divine. So you don’t have a right as a human to abuse that spark of the divine in your fellow human being.”
Subscribe to our short-form podcast, Becoming Wise, in which he discusses this history with Krista in more depth.
Hideko Tamura Snider: A Child’s Memories of Hiroshima
August 6th, 1945 is the day the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. That was 71 years ago. And I fear we have lost the wisdom of the hibakusha, the elders who survived this day. I encourage you to read Hideko’s interview with Studs Terkel in remembrance of that day. She not only has a distinct perspective on ambiguous loss, death, and grief but also on how to go on living in the face of such trauma:
”It’s terribly important for us to have death with dignity. In annihilation, you have no preparation. Annihilation is simply a torture. What death means is saying good-bye to all your attachments, including things, but most importantly to bonds to people. For the person who’s left, it’s saying good-bye to that person, but for the person who’s going, it’s everything, it’s global, saying good-bye to all that.”
“Giving voice to grief is a profoundly countercultural act.”
Our two scholars for Public Theology Reimagined are exploring the ways in which Millennials are finding community and new places for ritual. One one of those gathering spaces is The Dinner Party, a project that hosts potluck dinners bringing together people to talk about the experience of loss. And in the process people find mutual care and healing. It’s a fascinating read about how young adults find new grounds for connection.
“There is a new touch, a new kindness, a new softness, a new way of living, which is completely introduced by the fact that you put the weakest in the center of the community.”
Just one of the many aspirational pieces we post on our Tumblr account each day. Please share and submit your own!
Instagram Account to Follow: Buckner Sutter
I think of Buckner’s account, intao, as a place to visit when I can’t imagine new possibilities. His photography transcends the form (with an iPhone only, mind you) — sometimes providing an escape into imaginary worlds crafted from the shores of Lake Superior and, at other times, a refuge like that provided by a vintage postcard.
Do You Listen to On Being with Someone of a Different Generation?
As you know, On Being is a podcast AND a public radio program. You, our listeners, determine how local public radio stations understand our content. Specifically, we’re intrigued by how many people listen with someone of a different generation. If that describes you, we’d like to hear from you. Are you a mom or dad who has shared On Being with your son or daughter? Are you a son or daughter who has introduced older family members or friends to On Being? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Facebook or Twitter, and share your experience with us. And don’t forget to tell us how you listen: on the radio, on the podcast, on our app, etc.
As always, thank you for the kind and generous feedback. Please feel free to contact me or anyone on our team.
May the wind always be at your back.