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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Human Spirit

The human spirit, that inner drive and enthusiasm to succeed, is alive and well. I am fortunate to see it in some of my students every semester and no matter how many years go by, I still feel overwhelmed by the amazing people I serve.

This semester several of my students found themselves in difficult situations, yet they refused to surrender their hope and they remained constant and determined. Their second language, joblessness, homelessness, disabilities or divorce failed to stand in their way and in the end they triumphed over their adversities.

Many of my students work 30-40 hours a week and attend college on a full-time basis. They are mothers or fathers, husbands or wives. They pay mortgages or they send money to their family back home. Their lives are riddled with obstacles, but "still they rise" and refuse to succumb to exhaustion. Many of them are brave and fearless, but perhaps no one has ever told them this. But I...I witnessed their courage everyday.

I am immensely proud of all of them not only for what they have accomplished, but because they were willing to sacrifice so much to achieve their goals.

Read Maya Angelou "Still I Rise"


  1. I thank you too for reminding me. That is one marvelous poem!

  2. The human spirit never ceases to amaze me as well. In the courage of people, I see the face of God.

  3. Great post/piece...this is so true,you can find the most kindest human spirt,but they are very rare in this world.

    I love all of maya angelou's poems!

  4. These reflections inspire people to think differently about their lives. It hs been said that there's no such thing as problems, only solutions. Life experience is a profound teacher.

  5. Geri, Patricia, Patti, Miracle and Liara...thank you all for commenting on this post. Maya Angelou's poem is very inspiring but so are many of my college students. I tend to get a little sentimental at the end of the term and I therefore must at least write a few words about how I feel. I am regularly inspired by the many people I serve and/or work with at the college. There are so many inspiring stories...

  6. There is something so remarkable about the human spirit and it's ability to take us to where our dreams lie. Thank you for sharing this post.


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