Have you ever heard a phrase or read a passage that gripped your soul and refused to let go?  I am struck by that sensation often.  It is one of the reasons I love to write.  I dream of reaching the ever elusive (maybe sometimes not so much) level of causing that reaction in one of my readers.

On one of my Christmas CD’s, Kenny G compiled a version of “Auld Lang Syne,” which he called “The Millennium Version.”  It was released at the turn of this century.  Every time I listen to it, my soul is gripped, and I am find that I must stop whatever it is I am doing, sit down and listen to the song.  It is about 8 minutes long and contains snippets of news events, television programs, and speeches that shaped the world during the 20th Century.  If you have never heard it, I suggest you find it and listen to it.  It makes me feel small and insignificant when listening to how the world in which I now live was shaped.

Here are just a few of the powerful words that capture my senses every single time I listen to the song:

“I have a dream…that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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Martin Luther King’s immortal words, spoken on August 28, 1963.  Every time I hear those words, I am moved to tears.  Since I am the mother of two children of color, I echo his sentiments whole heartedly.

“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'”

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President Ronald Reagan speaking on January 28, 1986 after the space shuttle Challenger exploded after takeoff.  I was a senior in high school when this tragedy struck.  I still remember exactly where I was when I heard the news.

“Let the word go forth from this time and place, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans….”

President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961, during  his Inaugural Address.  Regardless of his personal life, his political affiliation or his heritage, John F. Kennedy gripped the souls of much of this nation.  I cannot help but be drawn to what he said.

Have you ever listened to one of Martin Luther King’s speech’s in its entirety?  Read any of Ronald Reagan’s or John F. Kennedy’s speeches?  I have not.  I think now I will.  My soul needs to be gripped more often by powerful words.

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