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The Moral Obligation to be Spiritually Intelligent

This is the script for a talk I gave in 2012 (edited and with added tips on note-taking).

During my youth, I found strength and solace in the scriptures. When I was middle school age, I read about Jesus in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and wrote my own summary of each chapter. I found not just comfort, but much-needed knowledge for how to improve myself and better my situation. I started to learn the role I could play as a young person to effect change in my life.

In my 9th grade English class we read The Inferno by Dante Alighieri. It is a 14th-century Italian epic poem about hell. We were asked to write our own versions of hell. Then we read them in class. My peers’ versions of hell were characterized by scenes of darkness and hatred. There were monsters, sludge, and swamps. Fear and violence pervaded their poetic words. When it was my turn to read my poetic version of hell, the hell I had envisioned was quite different. It wasn’t dark; in fact, in my hell I’m ce…

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