Friday, May 22, 2009
"Searching for the Truth:" John Legend at U Penn
What makes you tick? What inspires your heart? What triggers that deepest "uhhuh" and "yes" resonance with your soul that maybe makes you want to sing? (Does this happen to you?)
I had such an experience just yesterday watching and listening to grammy-award winning soul musician John Legend as he addressed the 2009 graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania. My friend Sr. Jill Underdahl showed this video clip to a group of 8 women known as the "Irentic Studies Cohert" at the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet Center. For the past two years, we've been gathering bi-monthly to journey with Sr. Jill in her graduate coursework in Peace Studies. We talk about non-violent communication and leadership and ways of being and thinking in the world. We talk about how all these topics permeate Catholicism and Global Citizenship. On this particular Thursday, we watched this video of John Legend giving a commencement address at his alma mater, and we reflected on how this speech connects numerous essential themes that inspire transformation and peace in the world.
Taking in Legend's words, I was moved, I was challenged, I felt the deepest resonance with his queries and analogies that made me laugh. His words made me cry. Most importantly, they made me want to act.
I invite you all to take 10 minutes of your day, and listen in. This man is preaching. He is modeling leadership. He is exemplifying a critical-inquiry based approach to life, seeking Truth and Soul, and as he states so beautifully: “A commitment to Truth requires a commitment to social justice." He elaborates during the speech: "Searching for the truth is a process, it requires listening..... a politics of empathy.” In the course of his commencement address, he invites us all to dialogue, and move outside of our comfort zones.
I close with these questions: "What is truth? What does your soul ask of you?"
Again, I invite you to all to tune in and reflect on these thoughts.