“In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn…let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” – John Lewis
Around the world, we have paused this week to remember the legacy of a man who never lost hope in the power to change communities through love, peaceful protest, and a little bit of what he called “good trouble.” As we celebrate all that he stood for in holding up the dignity and value of every human life, and the power of individuals to effect lasting transformation, may we learn from his example and carry it forward. Here are a few quotes that sum up the thinking and legacy of this incredible leader.
“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”
“If you’re not hopeful and optimistic, then you just give up. You have to take the long hard look and just believe that if you’re consistent, you will succeed.”
“It was not enough to come and listen to a great sermon or message every Sunday morning and be confined to those four walls and those four corners. You had to get out and do something.”
“Sometimes I hear people saying, ‘Nothing has changed.’ Come and walk in my shoes.”
“The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.”
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.
When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”