I ran across this video the other day while browsing through Ted talks in search of new clips to enhance my lectures this semester. I have a thing for great speakers that can best be described as not quite a passion but more a wonder of sorts. I find them inspiring in my work in the classroom, and often seek out those I can emulate in some way as I develop my own presentation and public speaking skills.
The speaker/poet in this video, Sarah Kay, is one of the best I’ve watched in quite some time. It could be just the hormones, but my eyes welled up more than once at her words and I found cadence of her voice quite lovely to listen to.
The opening poem from the video, If I have a daughter, delivers a powerful message of remaining positive, both despite and because of, the hardships you face in life. A few of my favorite excerpts:
“If I have a daughter…She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried…
“There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away…
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it….
“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”