1: to lift up or make higher: raise
2: to raise in rank or status
3: to improve morally, intellectually, or culturally
4: to raise the spirits of: elate
Elevate (n.): late 15th century, “to raise above the usual position,” from Latin elevatus, past participle of elevare “lift up, raise,” figuratively, “to lighten, alleviate,” from ex- “out” + levare “lighten, raise,” from levis “light” in weight (lever). Sense of “raise in rank or status” is from c. 1500. Moral or intellectual sense is from 1620s. Elevated was also old slang for “drunk.”
“Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.”
Denis Diderot (1713-1784, French philosopher, art critic, and writer; served as chief editor of the Encyclopédie, one of the principal works of the Age of Enlightenment)
“Would we not do well to have the pleasing of God as our motive rather than to try to elevate ourselves above our brother and outdo another?”
Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994, farmer, government official, and religious leader who served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during both presidential terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower and as 13th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
“The function of the artist in a disturbed society is to give awareness of the universe, to ask the right questions, and to elevate the mind.”
Marina Abramovic (b. 1946, Yugoslav performance artists now based in New York; her work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind)
“The role of a clown and a physician are the same – it’s to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering.”
Patch Adams (b. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams in 1945, physician, comedian, social activist, clown, author, and founder of Gesundhei! Institute)
“If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and lone and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, United States’ 16th President, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared free those slaves within the Confederacy in 1863)
“To raise, to elevate, to endorse with timeless reverence the image of woman has been my mission.”
Ruth Bernhard (1905-2006, German-born American photographer)
“We believe that business is good because it creates value. It is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange; it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.”
John Mackey (b. 1953, businessman and co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market)
“When I first started reading about the kabbalists, I would hear about them being seen in strange places. It would turn out that they were doing some kind of spiritual work to elevate the sparks. In my life and career, I’ve had the opportunity to find myself where I could make some spiritual moves, to do some work that is spiritually important.”
Matisyahu (b. Matthew Paul Miller in 1979, Jewish American reggae vocalist, beatboxer, and alternative rock musician)
“Why do we cling to bigotry? Because bigotry, plainly, is convenient. It is a near-effortless way to both elevate one’s stature and make a pity grab in this culture of victims that we have become.”
John Ridley (b. 1965, screenwriter, film director, novelist, and showrunner; best known for writing the screenplay for “12 Years a Slave”)
“When I first started reading about the kabbalists, I would hear about them being seen in strange places. It would turn out that they were doing some kind of spiritual work to elevate the sparks. In my life and career, I’ve had the opportunity to find myself where I could make some spiritual moves, to do some work that is spiritually important.” — Matisyahu
“Elevate the sparks,” Yes! That’s the spiritual work we all should be doing. But, first we need to ignite our own fire, be inspired and primed by the passion of others, and charge those who we come in contact. To do so, we must be open otherwise we will shut the doors to the possibilities and miss the nuances that are really important.
When we open our eyes and hearts we can witness wondrous occurrences of our world. But, we must be awake, aware, on the look out, and have the intention to pay close attention to the magic that unfolds in our world.
Years ago when I was in my mid-thirties I worked at New York City’s near Wall Street. It was an interesting area, because the financial district was a mix of the old City with its alleyways, ghosts of its beginnings, and the new financial district that was constantly pushing the edge. As a matter of fact, the building I worked in was smacked in the middle between a modern high-rise building and the Smithsonian Museum of Native Americans built back in the early 1900s. In addition, my workplace were situated right across was the Hudson River, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and just a click away from the World Trade Center.
That area bustled with electrical activity and I could never anticipate what spiritual encounters I would have on any given day or night.
Early one morning while passing a busy coffee shop, a beautiful young woman stood defiant shouting at her man, telling him essentially that he was too afraid to love. Mortified, the young man hung his head down, but stood still taking it all in. As I passed the young woman, I couldn’t help but think, “Go get him, Girl.” I was so proud that she was courageous and bold in shouting her love to the rooftops. We all need to need to fight for what and who we love
I had a couple of other elevated occurrences while working in that area of city. When leaving work one night the moon lit up the sky big and orange and barely fitting on the horizon. It looked a mirage or an optical illusion, and no one else noticed it. But, I was so psyched to witnessed such cosmic occurrence.
Also, while running for the train and getting caught in the rainstorm the paper bag I had disintegrated. An older man cam quickly to my rescue and pulled out a plastic bag for me to put my things in. I smiled all the way home, elevated by the great gift of that stranger’s kindness.
Let us be in awe, sojourners, of our life journeys and of the elevated compassion we receive along the way from our friends and fellow travelers.
Faithfully Yours, Tonya