Friday, January 19, 2018

Wisdom of William Saroyan

The Time of Your Life
W. Saroyan

In the time of your life, live—so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live—so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.

footnote: From the Play's monoluge "The Time of Your Life" (1939)   

A Symbol of Hope for All

Statue of Liberty
 Hand Drawn Picture 1883  

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The above is the full inscription from the statue of liberty. The Statue for most immigrants is the first thing they see/look for when coming by ship. My Grandmother on my fathers side recounted many times how they had to take what they wore and could carry in one bag, to leave their current life forever! This was in the early 1900's and she told me when they saw the statue they knew half the battle was over. They believed deep in their heart that once they arrived at Ellis Island they would be free from persecution of the Communist. 

The United States is a multi layered enclave of immigrants from all walks of life. This Country is more than just a symbol, but that of "hope, freedom, opportunity and place of new beginnings". In my life I have encountered many cultures, music and stage training and customs brought here by these indigenous people, whom have graciously shared with me the "foreigner". Although if you enjoy your Qigong Traditions, Yogic Arts or Martial Arts, you owe the gratitude to the people whom brought it here. This would not be possible if we were not a Integrated Society.

Each day more and more stories about immigrants being deported, DACA bill being rescinded in September. These are steps backwards not forwards; maybe George Orwell got is right in his essay of Nationalism read the cliff notes here:    

I am not here to bash the White House or the President, I will leave that for all the self righteous Facebooker's and Tweeter's. What I do think is we are going backwards, and talent, imagination and brilliant minds are not getting a fair chance because of partisan politics. Just remember if you like something that is uniquely imported from a different land such as Qigong, it is solely because of these brave men and women that forged to our foreign land. They seeked what Lady Liberty Stands for with her torch burning on high - Opportunity for all. Interesting that a Female Icon on our shores of New York Represents Balance and Opportunity?