In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invites African American Scientist Booker T. Washington to the White House for a visit. As is often the case whenever a president does something, there was immediate furor over whether or not it was appropriate for the president to do that. As many opined in the papers, a well-known African American scholar, Charles W. Chestnutt, wrote this in an essay entitled “Obliterating the Color Line” in the New York World:
“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things; there is no more powerful a factor than sentiment in the conduct of human affairs.”
We do not go wrong by listening with empathy and extending understanding to those around us.
We’ve been reading “Charlotte’s Web” at night before bed. All the kiddos get teeth brushed, jammies on, and snuggled up in bed and I read another chapter from E.B. White. Tonight we read this – it’s from the chapter where Mrs. Arable is concerned that her daughter is going crazy, what with the talking to the animals in her uncle’s barn. The conversation drifts to the miracle of a spider’s web, “it’s a miracle” the doctor proclaims, “the spider is not taught and yet it can still make that web…”
Dr. Dorian: “Well, who taught a spider? A young spider knows how to spin a web without any instructions from anybody. Don’t you regard that as a miracle?“
Mrs. Arable: “I suppose so. I never looked at it that way before. Still, I don’t understand how those words got into that web. I don’t understand it and I don’t like what I can’t understand.”
Dr. Dorian: “None of us do,” said Dr. Dorian sighing. “I’m a doctor and doctor’s are supposed to understand everything. I don’t understand everything and I don’t intend on letting it worry me.”
Exactly. Thanks for that E.B.