Came across a great quote from a Greek poet this week by watching part of the PBS series on Bobby Kennedy. While Bobby was running for president, MLK was brutally gunned down (4/4/68). RFK had been scheduled to make a speech to a large gathering of African Americans in Indianapolis. Since this time wasn’t an age of the 24 hour news cycle, RFK had to be the bearer of the terrible news to his audience. He spoke for just a few minutes from the heart and connected with his audience by talking about the experience of his own brother’s assassination. Here’s one piece of his speech (if you watch to the end you find the Aeschylus says in the sentence prior to the italics below: He who learns must suffer. So true!):
My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.
Isn’t this so true? Against our will, the pain of grief brings wisdom and experience. And in the end, we see the grace of God even when we never feel good about the experience.
See this link if you want to read/hear the entire RFK speech: http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/rfk.htm