Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

The title of this post seemed apropos to kick off this year's MHIRT student journeys. The saying is also the title of the first book of essays by Dr. Maya Angelou, who the world sadly lost yesterday. Dr. Angelou got this title from the chorus of an old gospel song that went:

Well, I started out travelin' for the Lord many years ago,
I've had a lot of heartache, I've met a lot of grief and woe.
But when I would stumble, then I would humble down,
And there I would say I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now
As you all set out on your life-changing adventures, know that while you may experience - as the song says - some heartache, you may meet grief and woe, and you may stumble, it is important to remember that all of these things are important parts of your journey. Some days you will be filled with awe. Some days you will be overwhelmed by both the beauty and the poverty that surrounds you. Some days you will be frustrated. Some days you will be homesick. Some days you will be inspired. Some days you will be excited. Some days you will be confused. Some days you will be humbled by the kindness of strangers. Your worldview will change. You will learn new things about research. You will learn new things about yourself. You will learn what patience truly means. You will make memories and friendships that last forever. You will be sad when it is time to return to the U.S. You will definitely learn new things about soccer!

Trust that no matter where you are on your journey, that's exactly where you need to be.

When you return, if someone were to ask you if you would trade this experience for anything in the world, I promise you will say "I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now."

I will leave you with one more quote from the incomparable Dr. Angelou
"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." -Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (1993) p. 12.

3 comments:

  1. I needed this - thanks, Julia!

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  2. this was very poignant and beautiful. thanks Jules!

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  3. So important. Thank you Julia!!

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