Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maya Angelou

My in-laws got us a family membership to the YMCA for Christmas, and I've been taking advantage of it. Once a week, the kids go to childcare and I do some cardio, then ride the bike and read to keep moving. I read Maya Angelou's Letter to My Daughter and was especially moved by the Fannie Lou Hamer chapter. I'm copying part of it to commemorate Black History Month (I just made it!):

By Maya Angelou:
I believe that there lives a burning desire in the most sequestered private heart of every American, a desire to belong to a great country. I believe that every citizen wants to stand on the world stage and represent a noble country where the mighty do not always crush the weak and the dream of a democracy is not the sole possession of the strong.

What do I think of my country? What is there, which elevates my shoulders and stirs my blood when I hear the words, the United States of America: Do I praise my country enough? Do I laud my fellow citizens enough? What is there about my country that makes me hang my head and avert my eyes when I hear the words the United States of America, and what am I doing about it? Am I relating my disappointment to my leaders and to my fellow citizens, or am I like someone not involved, sitting high and looking low? As Americans, we should not be afraid to respond.

Back to my words: With the Olympics closing and health care debate starting back up again, I keep thinking about these two paragraphs. I've visited my senators, signed petitions and written emails supporting health care reform. I don't have a single family member that would be able to go out and find insurance on their own in this capitalistic society. It's time for reform. Should we make it possible for all Americans to get their own insurance? Should we insure people who would not be able to pay for it themselves? The answer isn't no, it's yes.

1 comment:

P. Mookie said...

You mentioned that book during your visit. Sounds like a must read and book I need to add it to my Maya collection.

I admire your involvement and dedication to causes. You inspire me to do more on the federal level.