Monday, October 16, 2006

Inspiration from Margaret Sanger
I just came across Margaret Sanger's "This I Believe" recording from 1953. Sanger's work and life is inspiring enough, as a person dedicated to contraceptive rights and the founder of (what eventually became) Planned Parenthood, but hearing her talk about it, and what in turn inspired her, is amazing. From her speech:
There is an old Indian proverb which has inspired me in the work of my adult life. "Build thou beyond thyself, but first be sure that thou, thyself, be strong and healthy in body and mind." To build, to work, to plan to do something, not for yourself, not for your own benefit, but "beyond thyself"–and when this idea permeates the mind, you begin to think in terms of a future...

No matter what it may cost in health, in misunderstanding, in sacrifice, something had to be done, and I felt that I was called by the force of circumstances to do it. Because of my philosophy and my work, my life has been enriched and full. My interests have expanded from local conditions and needs, to a world horizon, where peace on earth may be achieved when children are wanted before they are conceived. A new conciousness will take place, a new race will be born to bring peace on earth. This belief has withstood the crucible of my life's joyous struggle. It remains my basic belief today.
I have no really concrete idea about how I might turn my own interests to building beyond myself, but it's a worthy goal to have.

NPR has revived the "This I Believe" series for more current inspiration as well. Past essays are chronicled here.

And I have now managed to talk about NPR often enough that a friend told me last night he associates it with me now when he listens to it. They should be paying me.

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