Sit with Fear, Stand with Courage


Barbara Deming quotes: Vengeance is not the point; change is. But the trouble is that in most people’s minds the thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide…
…Nonviolent action does not have to get others to be nice. It can in effect force them to consult their consciences…
…All prisons that have existed in our society to date put people away as no human being should ever be put away…


from Ricardo Levins Morales-

…”When we ignore the path of history we inevitably end up taking wrong turns which we could have avoided. When we just imitate what has been done before we are navigating with an out-of-date map.

It is not enough to revere those who came before. We must engage them in conversation. We must sit with them and watch their eyes, notice their body language. We must ask, not what they did, but how they decided.

How did they balance the need for urgency with the need for patience; the need to speak and the need to listen; the imperative for unity and the demands of accountability; the flames of anger and the waters of generosity? What do they know about sitting with fear and standing with courage? What was life like for them between the headlines? What did they wish they’d done differently?

Otherwise we will continue to think of them as something other, something greater than us. We won’t figure out that we’re just them in another time. It is good that they whisper encouragement, but we need their knowledge…”


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