Charity Hume

Writer / Educator

charity hume
daryl davis

What does the world need now? A lesson from Daryl Davis

As April has brought our country the escalation of conflict in our national and international dialogues, I wonder where the language of diplomacy has gone, and why mature, wise voices so rarely have air time in our media coverage.  Yesterday, as I was driving in my car, I heard a story so riveting I could not bring myself to turn off the radio once I’d reached my destination.  I had to hear this story to the end.  In this extraordinary podcast, a black musician, the jazz artist, Daryl Davis, tells the story of meeting a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  NPR aired his story on Easter Sunday but it was originally recorded earlier. In this story, Davis’s masterful storytelling teaches all of us what unexpected results can start with a simple, sincere conversation, a shared drink, a willingness to simply talk about something that completely opposed people might have in common.

Resist the urge to read NPR’s transcript, and instead, click the blue arrow to listen.  You don’t want to miss Daryl Davis’s voice which expresses humor, artful suspense, brilliant storytelling and above all, his wisdom. You will not be disappointed. I am blogging about this story because I think it is “what the world needs now.”  Follow this link to hear the podcast: NPR: The Silver Dollar Lounge

New Year’s Eve meditation

My cousin Catherine Larson has made her front curb in Eugene, Oregon a place to renew one’s thinking by putting poetry out from time to time, so that anyone who walks by can be moved and inspired.  The St. Francis poem that happened to be in the frame when I last visited her caught my attention today when I was looking over the year’s photographs.

It’s time to bring Saint Francis in,
the statue in the yard that stands
through summer heat and autumn rain
to welcome birds and butterflies
to water cupped between his hands.
For Brother Ice and winter thaw
might crack his terra-cotta flesh
and break the saint to shards and bits,
so friar must become a monk
in the cellar or barn until
the spring releases him to preach
to insect, mockingbird, and field.

by Robert Morgan

To me the poem expresses the idea that even St. Francis needed to take a break from time to time; he was known to apologize for his “animal” needs by referring to his body as “Brother Ass,” because he needed to take time to give himself food, drink, and sleep, even when his mind might want to continue to pray.  The poem also reminds us that the winter wears on us, and like the terra-cotta statue that will crack under the ice and snow if it is not protected, sometimes we need to rest, and stay inside for a spell to prepare for our work in the seasons ahead.

We forget that for there to be life and renewal there must be a season of death and dying. The earth is at the point in its orbit when there is a “dying of the light,” as the nights are at their longest in the cycle of the year. It is for this reason so many cultures celebrate a festival of lights at the time of the winter solstice. We need to  kindle the inner creative spark that is nourished when we gather together for company in this time of greatest darkness. In the I-Ching, an oracle is devoted to this sacred time; “The Darkening of the Light” refers to the similar cycles that occur in our governments and society, when there are shifts in power, and seasons when tyrants emerge, and there are those who bring harm to good and able people.  At such times, it is important to veil one’s light, without being duped, but to maintain the inner light, taking time to reflect to see into the meaning of what we must do when we have gathered our strength.

I send this along to all those who may be feeling a time of retreat, of loss, or of mourning, to remember that in our darkest hours, the turn of the seasons continues, and it is part of a natural cycle to retreat in order to strengthen.  Animals hibernate; the trees die back before it is time to flower again in the coming season.  The darkest time of the year is a good time to nourish the inner light.  We are not always in flower, and our seasons of retreat have their own beauty, poetry and meaning.

Francis did not believe great possessions were needed to live a passionate and spiritual life. Each of us can think of small, simple, sincere ways to make the world a place of beauty and to give refuge to others. Catherine did this by creating her poetry niche in front of her house, and she changes the poems whenever the spirit moves her to do so. This beautiful type of activism is one I hope to imitate in my daily life this year. On a day to day basis, we may not feel we can do very much, but perhaps we can keep in mind the act of sharing Robert Morgan’s poem about St. Francis as we do the simplest things in our power.!Blog.jpg

Saint Francis in Ecstasy, Giovanni Bellini, 1480-85

Meryl and the Hidden Hillary

Please view and share Meryl Streep’s moving and articulate view of the hidden Hillary.  Streep elegantly demonstrates the kind of information and tone we need to reach our friends who are on the fence about Hillary.  You cannot underestimate the powerful influence of the opinion of a respected close friend. Now is a good time for each of us to begin conversations with one colleague at a time.

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InHouse Theatre Presents The Weir

Last week, I lucked into a site specific showing of Conor McPherson’s Olivier Award winning play, The Weir, and took my seat at a table in Hutchinson Cocktails and Grill, an Irish bar in West Hollywood, and waited for the play to unfold around me. Yes. I said, “Bar.” InHouse Theater Company uses site specific locations to create an immersive theater experience for the audience:

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billie jean king

Billie Jean King PBS Documentary

This documentary about Billy Jean King is a tribute to a transformative figure in the ongoing quest to help the world see women as powerful figures who deserve equal opportunities, not only in sports, but in leadership. 

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i am documentary

I AM the documentary

This inspirational documentary gives me hope and faith that we already know how to work together, we just need to see ourselves in that light.

ted talks

TED: Ideas worth sharing

The conversation:  What is most important to teach our children?

My post refers to a quotation by Albert Einstein:

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of …his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

– Albert Einstein

– See more at: The It Factor Cultural Weekly

International Society for Technology in Education

The ISTE conversation: Why teachers Who use technology will replace teachers who don’t.

My post: We also want to be sure that “technology in education” doesn’t become data entry and rote thinking. The individuality of expression can easily be lost when formats of learning and assessment become bubbles on a screen or a rubric grid with squares that are checked off. To keep learning physical, connected, human, and to keep

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My favorite quotation on wisdom

“What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to

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