Blog by Associate Colette Parker

We never really know the struggles of others.

Those words resonated deep within my soul this weekend, after hearing about the death of Chadwick Boseman.

How did a global superstar – who portrayed historical icons Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and the revolutionary King T’Challa (aka Black Panther) – keep such a secret for four years?

How did he continue to film blockbusters while battling colon cancer?

How did he keep focus?

Twitter: Chadwick Boseman @chadwickboseman 
Twitter: Chadwick Boseman @chadwickboseman 

I have no answers to those questions, but his private struggle with the devastating disease could not have been easy. His determination to visit and encourage children fighting cancer while privately fighting the disease himself is awe-inspiring.

What I do know is that sometimes the people with the biggest smiles are struggling the most. What I do know is someone somewhere is going through something.

That is why it pays to be kind, to say a prayer, to share a hug, to be a blessing to someone.

Last night, I traveled (via television) to that fictional country of Wakanda – Black Panther’s home nation — built on Vibranium, a fictional metal known for its extraordinary abilities to absorb, store, and release large amounts of kinetic energy.

Right now, amid all the chaos in our world, we could all use our own personal Vibranium to build a world that is stronger, better, and more just.

Posted in Associate Blog


  1. Colette, kindness reigns. A motto that takes so little to do but is at the top of the list. God bless. Bunny O’Brien, OPA

  2. Thank you Colette for your encouraging blog. Treating others with dignity and respect, helps to shine our light in the world. May God continue to bless you.

  3. So true, Colette, I have found that it is through experience of own suffering that one can have empathy for others. Oh how Compassion is needed at this time!

  4. ThNk you for your great commentary on Chadwick Bozeman. It is so sad to lose such a great person. But he was just like all of us. He just used his beautiful gifts to help others while battling his own struggles. God rest his soul.

  5. I constantly have to remind myself that the love of God, prayer, and the Holy Eucharist are the greatest powers that we can imagine. Remembering that we are all the children of the Almighty Creator has to be in the forefront of our thoughts and decisions all the time. Then we will know how to treat one another. I love how you started your blog — it reminds me of a poster I saw: “Be kinder than necessary because everyone is carrying a burden that you know nothing about.”

  6. Thanks, Colette. I don’t know how he did it either but am most grateful to him and to you for sharing your blog.

  7. Thank you, Colette, for this reminder. My dear departed mother, who kept the prayer “Lord, make me a blessing to someone today,” on her refrigerator door for many years, is smiling on you from heaven. And I am so grateful for you and your work and your writing.

  8. Beautiful reflection, Colette! Thank you so much for sharing a massage of awareness, compassion,and hope.

  9. Sister Judy and I normally watch NBC News, but golf caused us to switch to ABC where we learned of the commercial free showing of Black Panther and a tribute to Chadwick Boseman. Both were so inspiring and needed more than ever this summer. Thanks for the reminder to be sensitive to the difficulties others are silently suffering.

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