A Brave and Startling Truth – Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.


How Lovely to “gain” perspective!©


I really love the expression: To gain perspective.

It is so true that through life experiences, stresses, loss, success, life and death, past and future…one is constantly in clash with his own image of his own self, his surroundings, and his reality in general. A person would find himself looking closer within and without in an effort to seek meaning and reflect ways to understand, to cope, and/or overcome these challenges. Having this closer look is just like someone looking at a familiar picture closer, deeper, more carefully, paying attention to details; until he starts to see the same picture in a totally different, clearer way. He has “gained” perspective.
“THE LATE Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, often helped his patients gain perspective, and when he successfully did this, it changed their lives. When you know how to gain perspective, your life will be changed, and you’ll be better able to help others.” (Source)

Todd Goldfarb wrote:

“As human beings it is inevitable that at some point in our lives we will develop feelings of sadness, hopelessness and even depression. These emotions can be brought on by something personal like losing a job, a failed relationship, or a serious health issue for you or a loved one; or sometimes they are triggered by something more global like corrupt political systems, war, or the knowledge that there are starving children all over the world… gaining perspective amid these rough times. Living with perspective means always looking at your life from the 10,000 foot level, and when you entrain yourself to pull back and view yourself from this height things begin to look a little different. More often than not, they begin to look much better.”

Our Maker Hath programmed us to evolve and grow mentally as well as physically in order to sort of metamorphose into a better version of ourselves to fit with the current stage or event that we are going through at the moment. If we do not use this mental ability, humans who get stuck and trapped in the same old perspective…they tend to get depressed and/or suffer mental and/or psychological disorders. People who are stuck in their own point of view tend to shrink within themselves and become deformed beings at the worst case, fixed and sort of blind to the truth.
This concept of “gaining perspective” so that we see a better, clearer picture, gain deeper understanding, notice details and connections that we overlooked before, and eventually reach the truth is a wonderful trait that makes us who we are as humans.

God Says in the Quran:

[41:53] Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (farthest) horizons, and within themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that it is the Truth…

The Quran Encourages People to Contemplate & Think For Themselves:

Indeed, the most disliked created beings in the Sight of God are the deaf and the dumb who do not use their intellect. (Quran, 8:22)

You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them. (Quran, 17:36)

The Quran Discourages Blindly Following Ancestral Ways and Religious Preachers:

O you who believe, many religious leaders and preachers take people’s money illicitly, and repel from the path of God. (Quran, 9:34)

And they (the common people) will say: O our Sustainer! Behold, we paid heed unto our leaders and our great men, and it is they who have led us astray from the right path! (Quran, 33:67)
If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will lead you astray from God’s way. Most of the people follow nothing but conjecture and they only live by guesswork. (Quran, 6:116)”

This great tool, once we apply it and begin to see things differently in a clearer way, enables us to have that Ahaa moment- the machine inside of us will suddenly come to life, we will experience an epiphany … a clarity of vision that will enable us to understand our reality better. Furthermore, it will also enable us to understand others even better, build bridges, communicate on a deeper, more profound level that will enhance our empathy and connections with others and their beliefs and traditions. We will start to accept one another’s differences with grace and humanity.
Let us all go ahead, reflect, ponder, look deep within ourselves and into the horizon; let us challenge these old notions and assert our preconceived norms and ask ourselves bravely: Is this the truth, does it make sense, what are the proofs? Why I am doing this or believing in that? Is it because it is the truth? Or, because I was told that it is by everyone else? Let us continue to grow and live healthy in mind, spirit, and soul…Let us gain perspective.