“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”


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Dr. Maya Angelou – I Am Human

“If I think of my life as a class, and what I’ve really learned, I’ve learned a few things. First, I’m aware that I’m a child of God. It’s such an amazing understanding to think that the ‘It’ which made fleas and mountains and rivers and stars, made me. What I pray for is humility; to know that there’s something greater than I.
And I have to know that the brute, the bigot, and the batterer are all children of God — whether they know it or not — and I’m supposed to treat them accordingly. It’s hard, and I blow it all the time!
I’d like everybody to think of a statement by Terence. The statement is: ‘I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.’ If you can internalize at least a portion of that, you will never be able to say of a criminal act, ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that,’ — no matter how heinous a crime. If a human being did it, you have to say, ‘I have all the components that are in her or in him. I intend to use my energies constructively as opposed todestructively.’
If you can do that about the negative, just think what you can do about the positive! If a human being dreams a great dream, dares to love somebody, if a human being dares to be Martin King or Mahatma Ghandi or Mother Teresa or Malcom X, if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born, it means: So can you! And so, you can try to stretch! Stretch! Stretch yourself!
So, you can internalize: ‘Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.’ I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.
That’s one thing I’m learning.”
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