The Thought for the Day – Mahalia Jackson

It’s easy to be independent when you’ve got money. But to be independent when you haven’t got a thing- that is the Lord’s test. – Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson was an American gospel singer and civil right activist. Talented and renowned, she is in both the Gospel and Rock and Roll halls of fame and to those who know more about this than we do – basically, everybody – Ms Jackson remains, more than a generation after her death, the Queen of Gospel. She sang at the March on Washington before Martin Luther King, Jr gave his I Have A Dream speech and is well qualified to talk about having and not having money. She grew up in New Orleans in a three-room house that housed 12 other relatives before knowing the prosperity that attends selling 30 million albums.

Independence for us humans is an interesting animal. We do have obligations, but we’ve always believed the basic proposition of us humans is a desire to live life on our own terms and that is something that cannot be purchased. Living the life we were meant to live transcends mere possessions. There are those of modest means leading satisfying lives while there are those that find their splendor nothing more than well-disguised chains.

How to be independent? At any time, be it in enhanced or reduced circumstances? It’s easy. As we say frequently here, follow your hearts and trust your instincts.

Ms Jackson is an excellent example.She knew early on she was meant to sing, so she went and did it. Had her talents led her no farther than her church choir, she would have passed a contented life.

Following our hearts merely means our lives are guided from the inside, by whatever force compels us. This is as opposed to spending our time merely acting to outside influences. These things change, often frequently, and useful lives aren’t spent reacting to the whims that swirl around us.

Our hearts do not change. They are constant from our introduction to this life to our departure, always showing us the path we were meant to take and the life we were meant to live. This may lead us to sell 30 million albums or it may not. It is of no particular consequence. Our hearts will always show us where to go and our instincts will show us how to get there. All we have to do is let them.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.


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