I honestly don't know how I missed this...Hugh Sidey died. Today I was reading a magazine when I came across, in the December 5, 2005 edition of Newsweek, an announcement that he had passed away. I looked at The Washington Post and read the official announcement dated November 22, 2005. An ironic date if you ask me... For quite some time now I've said that I want to be to Kennedy what Sandburg was to Lincoln; a new voice for a new generation, but really when it comes down to it, I'd sell my soul to have been to Kennedy what Hugh Sidey was. From Eisenhower to Clinton, Hugh held the presidency in the highest regard and with the greatest respect. I am almost embarrassed that I didn't know he had passed away.
Today has been a humdinger of a day. Finals, this killer headache, and stress that shouldn't even exist have me worn out. So instead of developing a post or just not posting I wanted to share (for the second time) a post from a year ago. I can't even remember what was going on in my life then that had me thinking about the Ray Charles philosophy so intensely, but I know today when I went back and read that post I was impressed, relieved, and hopeful again.
A Non-Political Philosophy
Originally posted 10/22/04
I've mentioned my Ray Charles philosophy, credited to the greatest musician of all-time, before, but I've added something new: Not only do we each have one certain talent, beyond the talent of another, that will benefit those around us, we each have an obligation, a human obligation to one another. How we treat each other is so essential to my coveted Ray Charles philosophy, I just hadn't realized how important until this week.
A fact of life is that there will be adversity. We will encounter obstacles and we will struggle. Some obstacles we will encounter often. "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.*" But in those obstacles the talent, opportunity, and potential within us remains. We are when we come out of it, the person we were when we went in. More experienced, more self-aware, perhaps stronger, but nonetheless, the same. Do not lose sight of the person you are or the talents you have simply because one person failed to respect their human obligation. There are both positive and negative ends of the spectrum-- you will also encounter individuals who unbelievably step in when the rest of the world seems to step out. For the one person this week who did everything in her power to tear me down, there was one who lifted me right back up and helped me to remember that it is possible for others to have faith in my potential.
When I listen to Ray Charles' music I get goosebumps. I've heard others say they do as well. If people we know indirectly can have that kind of an affect on us, imagine what kind of an affect we have on those we interact with directly. Our human obligation is to treat one another with humanity. If each person felt obligated to practice humanity, imagine what realized potential would be out there.
"Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.**"
No one has the right to stifle another's potential or greatness. How's that for a non-political post?
(Quotes:*Lady Margaret Thatcher,** Washington Irving)