A Brave and Startling Truth

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon

That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living

Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness

That the haughty neck is happy to bow

And the proud back is glad to bend

Out of such chaos, of such contradiction

We learn that we are neither devils nor divines. — Maya Angelou,¬†A Brave and Startling¬†Truth.¬†


I am a big fan of Maya Angelou. She has an Arkansas connection and she once wrote a wonderful story about my good friend, Charles Bussey. I am also a big fan of this poem. I love the image of a haughty neck happy to bow, and a proud back glad to bend.

We are at our best when we don’t use our strength to harm or threaten, but when we use that same strength in humility and warmth. A friend once called me “a poet in a football player’s body.” I like the poet part.

As you meditate this morning consider how can I use my strength in kindness and service.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

Leave a Reply +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *