There’s lots to write about but I’m going to write just a short post today about Greg Boyle whose two books, Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir have just blown me away. Greg Boyle has been working with gangs in East Los Angeles for about thirty years. I can’t even begin to imagine the people whose lives have been changed by his work…not just the gang members and former gang members but anyone who has met him, read his books, listened to him speak.
I just love this guy. His books made me laugh, made me cry, made me think. And as I’ve said before a book that does even one of these is a good book. If it does all three, it’s a great book.
Someone once asked Whoopi Goldberg who was the living person she most admired.
Pope Francis, she says. He’s going with the original program.
Greg Boyle goes with the original program too. He truly honors the light in everyone, even the scariest guy who walks through his doors. I need to buy his books so I can highlight everything. (I listened to them on my iPod) I did write down a few things he said.
The ultimate measure of health in any community might well reside in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry rather than in judgement of how they carry it.
Or how about his quote from Anne Lamott: You know you’ve created God in your own image and likeness when He hates everyone you hate.
When he goes out to speak he often brings former gang members with him to tell their stories. One guy was particularly successful and started going out on speaking engagements of his own. And then, one day, came into Greg’s office to give him “tips” on how to do public speaking.
“What you need to do, G” he said, is “sprinkle your talk with self-defecating humor.”
“No shit,” Greg answered.
I would love it if everybody read these book but especially teachers, social worker and cops. I wish I had read them when I was a teacher. I would have been so much kinder, so much more compassionate, so much more patient.
Oh, and if you don’t want to read, check out You Tube. There are lots of videos from speaking engagements he’s done.
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Love to all. Have a good day.