I listened to this story on NPR this morning. Lynda Blackmon Lowery was 15 years old when when she joined Bloody Sunday, the 1965 civil rights march turned confrontation with state troopers turned passage of Voting Rights Act. She wrote a book for young readers called Turning 15 on The Road To Freedom. When interviewed about why she aimed her message to a young audience, she said this:
“I would like for young people to know that each day of your life is a journey into history and that you’re making that history. And you have the ability to change something each day of your life.”
EACH DAY OF YOUR LIFE IS A JOURNEY INTO HISTORY. I had never heard it put that quite that way before. I felt so inspired. What if I used this mantra to start my day every day? How would it change my day/my week/my life? Would I be more fulfilled? I have no illusions that my changes will lead to something as grand as securing the voting right for minority peoples. Maybe it’s seeing the little ways in which we “change” things around us. Who are we affecting? I am reading a book called the Moral Intelligence of Children whose author Robert Coles expounds on how every single on one of us are examples of how our young treat other people. Anyone who has spent time with children knows how quickly they pick up on the littlest details of what we do, how we do it. I want my children to know that they will write their own journey – their lives will affect others – and they DO have the ability to change things. So I will need to model that change. Sounds daunting but it doesn’t have to be. I’m writing this today. Maybe someone will read it and also feel inspired. I will read to a room full of toddlers in about an hour’s time. Maybe my words will stay with them and they will feel inspired. And tonight I will sit with my husband in our Chinese lesson and – ok, that will not inspire anyone but the two of us – but it’s SOMETHING. And “something” could have perspective.