Issue No. 283 | January 15, 2020

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

One of my Sunday rituals is to listen to Krista Tippet’s On Being podcasts when my dog Cody and I go out for our morning walks.  The program, broadcast on National Public Radio is an examination of “what it means to be human” and is an inspiring counterpoint to the usually troubling updates on the world news. Her guests have included The Dali Lama, Yo-Yo Ma, Maya Angelou and Elie Wiesel.

This past Sunday, I listened to one of her early and most powerful shows with the late singer Joe Carter. Mr. Carter was internationally acclaimed for bringing his messages about the power of the African American Spirituals to audiences around the world.

In this uplifting show, Carter tells and sings the stories of the Spirituals and how they provided hope and dignity for slaves and inspiration for later musicians who used it for the foundation for jazz, the blues and even hip hop. His explanation of why songs like Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Motherless Child reflect a universal message for anyone looking for a way to ease their pain.

Cody and I found ourselves walking a bit slower and finding a bench to sit at so that we could make sure we listened to this podcast in its entirety which is what NPR refers to as a “Driveway Minute” where you just don’t want to turn off your device or go into your house so that you can hear the rest of the show.

Your Challenge This Week: Make certain you listen, watch or do something that brings some light and love into your life. Notice how it lightens your burden

® Richard Citrin 2020

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