The Wisdom of Amanda Gorman

Poet Amanda Gorman has said, “Live every moment as if you were making history.” She sure has. Whether it seems to you that she burst onto the scene just months ago or if you’ve been following her for years, as a published author as well as the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate or the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, her ability to transform one person’s voice into a resonating universal truth is unquestionable. She reminds us, as she did in her inauguration poem, “being American is more than a pride we inherit. It is the past we step into and how we repair it.” Gorman’s wisdom was the topic of our February 14 MLUC Meditation Group open meeting. Below you’ll find resources from our time together,

We began our time a centering and grounding as we listened to “Earthrise,” Gorman’s poem about climate change. Participants reflected on both the hopefulness and the sadness of her words. We then reflected in small groups on two questions Gorman offers in the video below,

Whose shoulders do you stand on? and What do you stand for?

For me, the answer lies in the teachers that taught me, inspired me and led me to action. I think of Armand Betancourt, my middle school Spanish teacher who mentored me long after my awkward teenage years had passed. Or Mr. Salerno, the health teacher who literally taught the same classes that I offer to my students today. This leads to what I stand for: discovery. I could say learning or education, but the real magic for me is discovery, those “ah-ha” moments where a connection is made and the insight becomes real.

As one participant observed, Gorman presents in a way that can be heard no matter your style. You may be visual, or auditory or kinesthetic, it is all there in a spoken-word but deeply embodied and practiced approach to speaking her truth. As we closed our time together, we meditated on the poem “The Miracle of Morning,” which explores how we come together in the shared (but different for everyone) experience of living through Covid.

Gorman has said she plans to run for President of the United States in 2036. She already has a lot of votes. But there is no doubt, she is already the Inspirer in Chief for countless people around the world.

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