When you don’t know what to say to please your audience, speak from the heart.

Via on Mar 5, 2010

"west wing" santos black latino undecideds compassion church

West Wing: “Undecideds” episode. Matthew Santos’ speech in a black church on “Compassion.”

Just watched this episode, and cried during the last scene. Generally, I’m rather suppressed, emotionally; I cry about as often as I clean and organize my basement. So I figured this was one scene worth the sharing. Sorry, no video on youtube. Rent it: It’s the last season, an episode called “Undecideds.” Guaranteed to make political nerds cry. ~ W.

“Good morning. My prayers are with Ronnie Burke’s family today. I know yours are too. My prayers are with Officer Rafael Martinez and his family. They are not struggling with the loss of a child, but they are struggling with a terrible truth. My prayers are with those families and with this one.

“You know, I find myself on days like this casting about for someone to blame. I blame the kid, he stole a car. I blame the parents. Why couldn’t they teach him better. I blame the cop, did he need to fire. I blame every one I can think of and I am filled with rage. And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame. Compassion for the people I do not understand, compassion. It doesn’t always work so well. I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968. He asked of us compassion, and we responded, not necessarily because we felt it but because he convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could express compassion, that if we could just pretend compassion, it would heal us so much more than vengeance could. And he was right: it did but not enough. What we’ve learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think everyone of us, tired.

“We’re tired of understanding, we’re tired of waiting, we’re tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to to make them safe seem to fail. We’re tired. But we must know that we have made some progress and blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that.

“Blame will not rid our streets of crime and drugs and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools or our families or our workforce. Blame will rob us of those things and we have had enough of that. And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts. Because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better. God bless you. God bless you and God bless your children.”

About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive. Questions? info elephantjournal com

436 views

One Response to “When you don’t know what to say to please your audience, speak from the heart.”

  1. Rent it, indeed!

    My wife Jane and I have watched West Wing all the way through on Netflix twice. Will do it again. Best thing ever on television.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

Leave a Reply