Sunday, April 2, 2017

And they whispered "courage"

This week we celebrated the birthday of Cesar Chavez, a leader in the movement for farm workers in California and the Southwest.
Tuesday we remember the assassination of Martin Luther King, while he was in Memphis supporting sanitation workers striking for living wages and safer working conditions.
Two great leaders who led with different styles.

It made me think of what my organizer at Backus told me one time of our role in the movement.
He said that not everyone gets to stand out front, in the public eye, but the role of those "behind the scenes" is just as important.

He told me of a protest in which the leadership took the front line and they were confronted by the authorities.
It got tense.
It was the strength of the people standing behind the front line leaders who made it successful.
You see, as they faced off, the people behind started whispering in unison, "courage, courage, courage."

It's an important lesson to remember.
There are many roles in the movement.
Many of us will play all of these roles at one time or another.
It's hard to be on the front line, it takes skill and courage.
It's also hard to be behind, in a support role, whispering "courage."
But each role is equally important and the movement falls apart if we each do not fill our role, whatever that might be at the time.

As we remember Chavez and King this week, lets also remember those who whispered "courage."

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