Arshay Cooper visits Alliance

Arshay CooperArshay Cooper, author of  "A Most Beautiful Thing," the 2022 One Book One Community selection, visited Alliance on March 31, speaking at the Union Avenue United Methodist Church.


“If we can eliminate the small dream, there’s room for more dreams. There’s room for bigger dreams.”


“You have to leave it better than you found it because if you can leave it better than you found it, even if you didn’t make the mess, you make it easier for the next group. … If we can leave the world better than we found it, even if we didn’t make the mess, then it makes it easier for the next generation that is coming up.”


“When you give what hurts, you see the results that you want to see. It’s the same thing whether it’s our time, our talent and our treasure.  It’s the same when we decide to invest in our communities and our young people. We will truly see the results that we want to see when we give what hurts.”



“The very first lesson I learned is that I can’t do the work of eight. We need eight people to do the work, and we’ll get there much faster.”

“I went from loving the sound of the basketball net to dreaming about the echoes of the oar locks. It was in my head and with every stroke things were changing … This sport was the only sport that calmed the storm in me. And it was a most beautiful thing. That was my introduction to wellness.”


“In our sport, we measure success by gold medals. But sometimes, what we don’t understand is to culturally overcome the fear of water because of structural limitations and then have it become a place of refuge, that was a win. To get guys who did not like each other to become one, rowing was able to solve that, and that was a win. To be committed to a sport that seemed so foreign and so different and take an hour and a half trip every day to row and to break your back and to rip apart your hands because you love it so much,  that was a win. Those were the wins I wanted to focus on.”



“I don’t have a lot of time to write poetry, but a lot of time to live it through working with young people.”


“I give myself away right now to the rowing world to make sure this sports reflects the diversity in this country. “