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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Remembering Margaret

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni-University

"I am only one, but I am one, I cannot do everything; but I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do"- Edward Everett Hale

Our current state of affairs is putting the endurance of our minds, bodies, and spirits to one of -- or as some would argue -- THE most vigorous test we have ever experienced. We humans are social beings and many of us are doubtful of our ability to hold out under the unnatural conditions that continue to be imposed upon us. Indeed, "these are the times that try men's souls".[1] The length of time that we can tolerate these conditions, while remaining right- minded and able-bodied, will depend in large measure on what we make of the situation.

Not everyone agrees that there is light at the end of the tunnel or even that the tunnel has an end. These would be identified as ''Pessimists", the Grinches and the Scrooges who can never find good in anyone or anything. In another group are the "Optimists" or "Pollyannas"[2], e.g., motivational speakers and elected public officials, who never seem to see anything amiss at any time. But, there are alternatives to the two groups whom we may tentatively classify as "Realists". They are the ones who look the facts squarely in the eyes and, while they acknowledge the severity of a dilemma, somehow they can still see a "window of opportunity" in it.

I would loathe to join either of these groups were it not that I recognize my mentor, ANCESTOR Dr. Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, at the helm of the latter one. Dr. Burroughs was a Co- Founder of both the Du Sable Museum of African American History and The South Side Community Art Center. She was also a world traveler and, should you encounter her anywhere in today's world, she'd be certain to challenge your tendency to sit in judgement about everything while doing little or nothing about any of it. In "What Will Your Legacy Be?"[3] she proclaims,"You are here, You are still here, alive and quick and you have time on your side. You have time to begin even now. So, get busy and do something to help somebody to improve the condition of life for people now and for those who come after...".

Albert Einstein, another of the great thinkers of our time, agrees. We previously quoted his conviction that, "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity ".[4] Although it's not easy to tell whether we are at the beginning, in the middle, or near the end of them, there can be no doubt that we are facing the "difficult days" foreseen by our ANCESTOR, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indian novelist, Arundhati Roy also views our current crisis through the "window of opportunity": "Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their worlds anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next."[5]

In the immortal words of a song by Kenny Loggins, "THIS IS IT"![6] This is not a drill. This, Brothers and Sisters, is the real deal! All hands on deck! The "window of opportunity" to be part of the problem rather than part of the solution has closed. Permanently. The only remaining opportunity is the chance: "to improve the condition of life for people now, and for those who come after:

To [build] institutions

to educate and broaden the minds [of] people now

and for those who come after

and to make your life a contribution

That will be your legacy."[7]

We invite you to view "Remembering Margaret", An episode of Omni-U Presents: "The H3O Art of Life" television show, featuring Omni-U Faculty Member, Dr. Mary Ann Cain.

Blognotes: [1] “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine [2] An excessively optimistic person. [3] “What Will Your Legacy Be?” by Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs

[4] Quote by Albert Einstein [5] “The Pandemic is a Portal” by Arundhat Roy [6] “This is It” Written by Kenny Loggins

[7] Op. Cit. Burroughs

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