: a particular point or period in the growth or development of something
: a raised platform in a theater, auditorium, etc., where the performers stand
: the art or profession of acting and especially of acting in theaters



Stage (n.): mid-13th century, “story of a building;” early 14th century, “raised platform used for public display” (also “the platform beneath the gallows”), from Old French estagebuilding, dwelling place; stage for performance; phase, rest in a journey” (12th century, Modern French étagestory of a house, stage, floor, loft“), from Vulgar Latin *staticuma place for standing,” from Latin statum, past participle of stareto stand,” from Proto-Indo-European root stāto stand, set down, make or be firm.”

Sense of “period of development or time in life” first recorded early 14th century, probably from Middle English sense of “degree or step on the ‘ladder’ of virtue, ‘wheel’ of fortune, etc.,” in parable illustrations and morality plays. Meaning “a step in sequence, a stage of a journey” is late 14th century. Meaning “level of water in a river, etc.” is from 1814, American English.



“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

William Shakespeare (1564-1616, English poet, dramatist, and actor; often called the English national poet and considered the greatest dramatist of all time)

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“All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”

Seán O’Casey (1880-1964, Irish dramatist and memoirist who was exiled from is native land; a committed socialist who wrote about the Dublin working classes)

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“Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.”

Maya Angelou (1928-2014, Marguerite Johnson, one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time; poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist)

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“At some stage in most people’s lives, things turn upside down, and nothing is as you expected it to be.”

Susanne Bier (b. 1960, Danish film director and writer best known for her feature films, “Brothers,” “After the Wedding,” and the Academy Award-winning film, “In a Better World.”)

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“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”

Arthur Ashe (1943-1993, tennis player, activist, and writer; first African-American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the first to be ranked No. 1 in the world.)

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“The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.”

Charles Darwin (1809-1882, British naturalist and geologist whose scientific theory of evolution by natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies)

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“What a person feels within themselves and about themselves radiates from them. Trust me, I have worked with people – both men and women – who are not what most would consider conventionally attractive, but who exude such magnetism about them that people are compelled to watch them on stage or screen.”

Amanda Schull (b. 1978, American actress and former professional ballet dancer; best known for “Center Stage,” “12 Monkeys,” and “Sorority Wars”)

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“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.” — Arthur Ashe

My internet, telephone, and cable systems went out last night and finally came on late in the night.  Please forgive me for being shorter than normal and for being not so articulate.

I have only two questions to ask:

Who says we have to win at all costs, and when did we get to this stage culturally and nationally?

It appears we are on this perpetual cycle to compete or at least to turn every activity into a contest.  These struggles to win feed our ego, our false selves, into believing that we are better than most.

From the little bit of traveling that I have done I can tell you that’s not true. Most people around the world, whatever level of prosperity, feel privileged to play, create, and dance joyously on this beloved planet.

Don’t get me wrong.  America is a great country, one of the best especially given the fact that we are young and wealthy.  But, we are not the only game of prosperity and opportunity in the world.  There are other beautiful countries and egalitarian communities across this globe, who are elevating to higher levels and stages of consciousness.  That’s where true wealth lives.

Perhaps, the reason why we are so challenged right now is because we are all weary of where we have been.  We feel stressed and uncomfortable on this current stage, one we have lived for the 50 years.  And it’s time to push ourselves forward to the next level of greater love and peace.

So, do not despair, sojourners.  Fear not.  But be committed to abiding in true unconditional love and tranquility.

Faithfully Yours, Tonya



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