In 1962, four young musicians played their first record audition for the executives of a Recording company. The executives were not impressed, turned them down and said “We don’t like your sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.” These four musicians are better known as the Beatles.
In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry fired a singer after one performance. He told him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” He went on to become the most popular singer in America, named Elvis Presley
Can you imagine what would have happened if the Beatles or Elvis had listened when someone told them they were no good and should just quit?
I can guarantee that today’s world would be drastically different.
How many of us sitting in this room tonight have been victim to this same situation. Someone tells us we are not good enough, we won’t succeed; we should give up now and not follow our dreams.
What would happen to each one of us and the world if we listened?
Well than, we all would miss out on something truly amazing.
Each one of us has unique gifts and talents that we can share with others. For some of us these gifts are offering an ear to listen and smile to let people know they can overcome obstacles; For others it is giving advice and helping people enact change in their lives; Some have the ability to work hard and use their talents to bring others to help. The world cannot continue to turn without these gifts or those who possess them.
Life is tough, there will always be those situations that make us question our abilities and allow us to build a wall so high that we can’t see the sun anymore. These are the time when we most want to quit. But it is also the time when we find the most strength. If we can somehow find it in our core being to rely on others and our higher power, we can make it through those times of desperation and make it one step closer to achieving our dreams.
Tonight we come together in prayer for the healing of all those infected with HIV and AIDS. We support those living with this disease in hopes that they will never quit and can achieve anything they set to do in life. We enact the hope of better world, one from suffering and disease. We pray for peace of mind and spiritual awaking for all those suffering from their diagnosis. We ask our higher power to give us the strength and ability to fight AIDS and truly bring mental, spiritual, and physical healing to all those infected with the virus.
The fight to end HIV will be a long and bumpy path, and there will be people telling us it will never happen, and we are just wasting our time. Once again I ask you to remember the story of the Beatles and of Elvis Presley. They followed their heart even in the midst of discouragement and achieved their dreams. Tonight I ask you, Please don’t ever quit, and maybe one day we can finally achieve our dream; a world without terminal illnesses and the suffering that they bring to all who are affected.
Krystle Powell is a participant in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working as the Jesuit Spiritual Care Associate at Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry in their Spiritual Care department.