There is an ancient Greek myth of the woman who wanders into the waters of the River Styx where Charon, the guide, was to take her to the region of the departed spirits. Charon reminded her that she could drink of the waters of Lethe and thereby forget all the anguish she had experienced in life.
She said, “I will forget how I have suffered.” Charon replied, “You will forget how you rejoiced.” The woman challenged, “I shall forget my failures.” Charon reminded her, “And also your victories.” Again she said, “I shall forget all of the painful memories of life.” Charon countered, ” You will also forget all the loving and joyful memories of life.”
In silence the woman meditated, and ultimately elected not to drink the waters of Lethe. She chose to retain her memories of sadness, of loss and tribulation, rather than surrender the loving memories of her life as well. —told by Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben
Who Made the World
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done”
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? —Mary Oliver
“Activism pays the rent of being alive and being here on the planet—If I weren’t active politically, I would feel as if I were sitting back eating at the banquet without washing the dishes or preparing the food. It wouldn’t feel right.” —Alice Walker
“The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to them?” That’s the question.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
” It is only in assuming full responsibility for our world, for our lives and for ourselves, that we can be said to live really for God.” —Thomas Merton
“I cannot imagine better worship of God than that in His name I should labor for the poor.” —Mahatma Gandhi