Impossible is Impossible

This blog is my way of reflecting upon life. Life is about living and learning. As I live and learn I’m going to reflect upon this life I lead. Hopefully I'll offer something insightful with my postings. If you learn nothing else from me, know this that “impossible is impossible”.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Dead Man Walking"

The other day the Station Manager at the campus radio station mentioned to me that Sister Helen Prejean, the author of the book "Dead Man Walking" would soon be coming to Loyola in order to give a lecture. This I believe was on Monday. We didn't realize that she would be here on Wednesday. When I found this out I worked hard to set up an interview for the station, but the Sister's schedule was jam packed. In case something came through I wanted to be prepared, so I did a bit of research.

In doing some background research in an effort to learn more about the Sister, I discovered that she was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I also discovered that she had gone to school in New Orleans and had spent much of her adult life working on various causes throughout Louisiana.

I attended last night's lecture and learned about her book "Dead Man Walking" because I'd never read the book, nor had I seen the movie inspired by the book. It was an interesting speech during which Sister Prejean discussed her crusade to end the death penalty. She spoke of witnessing five executions in the state of Louisiana. I couldn't think of watching five people be put to death.

My feelings about the death penalty have always been quite muddied. I do believe that people should be punished if they commit certain crimes, but I also know of how unfairly the death penalty seems to have been applied in this country.

During last night's lecture Sister Prejean said that "85% of the states which practiced slavery, practice the death penalty", that "95.8% of those on death row are poor", and that "90% of those on death rough have been abused".

The Sister didn't just speak about the death penalty, but she also spoke of being a proponent of social justice.

She said to varied crowd of over 270 people, but in particular reference to students, "We need you to be the social transformers of our society."

Too often it does seem that we forget that being in a position to obtain knowledge is a gift.

The Sister spoke of not really understanding her obligation to help those who are considered the least of us, until she thought about Jesus and his ministry. She said of transformation, "We never know when the spiritual trajectory of our lives is going to change...something rips across the consciousness of our soul, and we're never the same."

I was very much encouraged but challenged by this, Sister Prejean said, "When you make something happen in the world, there's a passion in your heart and you don't stop at the obstacles."

I then thought back to something Tavis Smiley once said, "You can live for a cause or you can live just because."

Ain't that the truth?

This note it's weird that one of the stars of "Dead Man Walking" is on Larry King Live as I finish this post. Talk about irony.

Tis all from me this day!

1 Comments:

At 1:31 AM , Blogger jameil1922 said...

i don't believe in the death penalty. one b/c death frees them from the troubles of this life. two, and more importantly, b/c only God can judge. and by that, i mean we have NO right to decide when someone dies. and lets not forget how many people are wrongly put to death for crimes they didn't commit. esp. black people. huh uh. i was on the verge until rubin the hurricane carter came to hampton. sold.

 

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