Harry Potter, JK Rowling, and My Sister

Today is my sister’s birthday. It’s also Harry Potter’s birthday, and J.K.Rowling’s birthday. The Goodreads quote that came through my email this morning was a quote by J.K.Rowling: “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” What a perfect quote for my sister’s birthday! She is probably the most resourceful person I know, and she is constantly directing her power toward the transformation of our world, through her writing and public speaking. Her particular passion? Healing racism. Her book,TALKING ABOUT RACE: A WORKBOOK FOR WHITE PEOPLE FOSTERING RACIAL EQUALITY IN THEIR LIVES (www.ltar.biz) is a very personal invitation to what she calls “work the racial equality muscle.” It’s also a very structured map for doing so. She knows what she’s talking about. She married an African American man and has two biracial children, so even though her book is not a memoir – it really is a workbook – she does share a few relevant stories from her personal life in it. And her speaking? She has spoken in several contexts; the most recent was as a Plenary Speaker for this year’s National Organization of Women, where she addressed the topic of white privilege. There is nothing magic about any of it. It’s all personal; it’s all compassionate; it’s all hard work; and it all entails a deep level of commitment.

When my sister was a little girl, she was inclined to navigate toward the most needy around her – be that person or animal.  Our grandmother used to smile and say that she would probably grow up to be a Maryknoll Missionary. The mission of Maryknoll sisters ( http://www.maryknollsisters.org ) is to help others find a fuller sense of life, by fulfilling both human rights and spiritual needs… I do think that my sister is, essentially, a missionary, so I have one more thing to say: Happy Birthday, Sister!

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