I'm thinking about love. Not romantic love. The kind of love that makes me get up in the morning and ask myself what is important to do today? How can I be of service?
Mind you, I don't wake up every morning and ask myself these questions. This morning I watched Krista Tippett interview John Lewis, Congressman from Georgia and civil rights leader. I first listened to this interview while I worked out at the gym last week. I recently discovered Tippett's radio program, "On Being," and have since listened to several inspiring interviews.
Picture me on a stationary bicycle with my headphones in my ears and tears forming in my eyes. Then the tears start to flow down my cheeks and I wipe them with my shirtsleeve. What is going on? What about this interview touches me so?
It's multifaceted for me. Just like the civil rights movement that Lewis described in the interview. He says, "We wanted to end discrimination now. We wanted people to be able to register to vote now. We had a slogan, freedom now. But to have a revolutionary effect, it was going to take much longer [to be] able to change the minds and hearts and souls of people."
Here are some of Lewis's words from the interview that particularly spoke to me:
"Try to appeal to the goodness of every human being. You don't give up. You never give up on anyone.
"The civil rights movement was a work of love, love in action. A nonviolent revolution."
"The good is already there. The love is there. How do you make it real? How do you paint the picture?"
"Love is strong. Love is powerful. Love is a way of being."
"You have to be consistent, persistent, and patient. And it's all about being faithful, being honest, being open."
"There may be setbacks. There may be some disappointments, some interruptions. It may fail to happen during your lifetime. You must do all that you can do while you occupy the space, during your time."
That last line was just one that brought on the tears. Am I doing enough? How do I know what is enough?
I try to live and act based on my values, many of which I share with John Lewis. Yet, my path is much less public, and on a much smaller scale - one interaction, one client at a time. I contribute to a nonviolent society when I am: consistent, persistent, patient, faithful, honest, open.
I will continue to ask myself how am I, how will I, embody more fully these words of love by John Lewis.
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