"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
That's why we call it the present."-Master Oogway, the inventor of Kung Fu, speaking to Po in Kung Fu Panda, the movie-
This week's discussion was about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. If you want to get inspired and build brain cells at the same time, listen to Krista's show. She interviews inspirational people from every walk of life; environmentalists, Evangelicals, Buddhists, humanists, Mormons, and Sufis. Forget about catching a live broadcast. She's on at 7:00 am on Saturday & Sunday mornings. Listen to her show on her website or download her weekly podcast. It's one more good reason to get yourself an Ipod.
When I took an afternoon water break, I checked up on NPR's most emailed stories & got a chance to read J.K.Rowling's Harvard commencement speech. Ignore the story of controversy surrounding her as the choice for Harvard's commencement speaker--the speech is "brilliant", as the Brits would say. I passed it on to my 24 year old son, who wholeheartedly agreed. He passed it on to his buddies, and recommended it to his brother.
And as for Kung Fu Panda--I learned all about the movie from Dawn, my Sunday morning yoga teacher. She saw it on Saturday with her 6 year old daughter & shared the story of the magic of the Secret Dragon Scroll with the entire class.
The Spiritual Audacity of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel-Krista Tippitt
- "The opposite of good is not evil. It is indifference." Rabbi Heschel
- "Some are guilty, but all are responsible." Rabbi Heschel
- "I would say about individuals, an individual dies when he ceases to be surprised. I am surprised every morning that I see the sun shine again. When I see an act of evil, I'm not accommodated. I don't accommodate myself to the violence that goes on everywhere; I'm surprised. That's why I'm against it, why I can hope against it. We must learn how to be surprised. Not to adjust ourselves. I am the most maladjusted person in society." Rabbi Heschel
- "When you're walking down the street and you see the suffering of a child and if you're a parent, you can't stand to see the suffering of that child any more than you could stand to see the suffering of your own children. And for Heschel, the God of the Bible is really the parent of humanity who can't stand to see the suffering of God's children. God needs God's other children to take care of the suffering." Arnold Eisen speaking about Rabbi Heschel
- "The cure of the soul begins with a sense of embarrassment, embarrassment at our pettiness, prejudices, envy, and conceit; embarrassment at the profanation of life." Rabbi Heschel
- Heschel liked to say, "I pray with my feet," when doing the work of social justice.
The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination-J.K. Rowling
- (Regarding your choice of major or career) There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment your are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.
- What I feared most at your age was not poverty, but failure...Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun....So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive...And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
- It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case you fail by default!
- The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive...Such knowledge is a true gift.
- Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovovation....it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners.
- If you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better.
- We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already; we have the power to imagine better.
- READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH. IT'S WORTH IT, I PROMISE!
The Secret Scroll of the Dragon Warrior--Revealed to Po, the Kung Fu Panda
With a little coaching from his father, Po learns the "real secret" of the Dragon Scroll's power: