Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Langston Hughes & Looking For Words Of Lasting Meaning


I own two books by the poet Langston Hughes. 

One, which I can’t find at the moment, is a very big collection of all his poetry. The other is Selected Poems of Langston Hughes.

The big inclusive collection is frankly just a mess. You’d have to be a Hughes scholar or the biggest fan of Hughes in the world to mentally process all the poems. Also, many of the poems don’t read very well or now seem dated.

The big book has great value. I’m just not certain its value would be obvious to all readers.

The smaller book still has many poems to read. But they are better organized and carefully selected. You can open any page and find something of value.

I think the same principle we see with the Hughes books also holds true for other things we read, blog posts we read and write and conversations we have. There are a lot of words out there—But only a few of them really have lasting meaning.

In an introduction to a translation of The Dhammapada, which are Buddhist scriptures, Kenneth Easwaran writes—“Every reader knows that the book which becomes part of one’s life means more than a thousand others.”

Hughes in his lifetime easily passed the test of using and writing words that have lasting meaning. Hopefully, you and I are also able to pass that test in whatever way our lives offer the opportunity for meaning.

Every life offers the opportunity for meaning.

The above photo was taken by Nickolas Muray who released his rights to the picture.  

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Books, Relationships, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Central Question: How To Reconcile Commitment To Democracy With Often Distressing Nature Of Public?

This is the first installment of an occasional Texas Liberal series called “Central Questions.” 

Today’s question is—–How does one reconcile a commitment to democracy with the often distressing beliefs and actions of the general public?

Possible Answers—

1. Try to see people’s beliefs and actions from their perspective. This takes work and requires sympathy for people who may make little effort to see your side of the debate. Still, it’s worth the trouble.

2. Realize that you are flawed as well. 

3. Consider the view that Democracy in and of itself has merit regardless of the outcome of the democratic process. At core, people must have a say in how they are governed.

4. Consider that in time your views on important issues may gain the ascendancy. For better or worse, few issues are ever fully resolved once and for all. 

5. Consider that this question has no firm answer and that you must take issues and individuals on a case-by-case basis as the situation merits and your personal energy permits.

6. Take actions to move society in the direction you feel is best.    

I’d be happy to hear from the blog reading public any other views on this question.

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Central Questions, Politics | 1 Comment