I’ve got a beautiful friend, Shawnte. I had the honor of calling her a colleague for a few years, a few years ago. She’s since moved her life to Portland to work with Don Miller and The Mentoring Project and she’s living a really good story.
Sometimes I’m crushed under the weight of knowing so many gracious people. I feel guilty, almost – as though I’ve a responsibility to them, or maybe to God, to be a better man, and the kind of friend to them that they are to me. I’m proud to know such well-written characters and I’m glad for the opportunity to have shared a page or two with them.
Anyway, I found this Whitman passage on her blog and I think it’s just perfect.
This is what You (and I) shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
From Walt Whitman’s preface to Leaves of Grass