I’ve only just a minute, only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it, didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it, give an account if I abuse it,
Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.
Benjamin E. Mays lived with a conviction about the sacredness of time – even one minute of time. How could our lives change if we had the same belief?
A minister, scholar, educator, social activist and advisor to several presidents, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays (1894-1984) was born to former slaves in Epworth, South Carolina. His childhood home is now a historic site and museum in Greenwood County.
He served as the Dean of the School of Religion at Howard University (1934-1940) and then as the President of Morehouse College (1940 to 1967).
Benjamin Mays was inspired by Frederick Douglas, a former slave and a leader in the Civil War-era abolitionist movement, and Booker T. Washington, also a former slave and advocate for the African-American community at the turn of the 20th century.
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He was one of the most articulate critics of segregation in the South in the years leading to the modern Civil Rights Movement.
He was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King beginning in his college days and continuing until his assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968. MLK referred to him as a “spiritual mentor” and “intellectual father.” He delivered the eulogy at King’s funeral.
He instilled two concepts in Martin Luther King and all of his students: the dignity of all human beings and the incompatibility of American ideals and the entrenchment of racism and discrimination.
Dr. Benjamin E. Mays wrote 9 books, almost 2000 articles and received 56 honorary degrees.
Q4U: With Benjamin E. Mays, do we too see time as spiritual, as sacred? What if eternity is in time as we understand it? Even one minute of time. If we see time as sacred, how will it transform our schedule, our lives?
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