However, it does mean that if we want change, it needs more than passion and having Truth and Justice on its side. And after years and payments of blood, sweat, and many tears, gloating in Charlie Sheen style over hard-won success may feel good. So good!
But reality is that our laws, legal definitions of those laws, and even the US Constitution itself are changeable and a part of living documents — if we can make laws, they can be unmade, remade. Sometimes in just days. Often after most people have lost interest in the details. Sometimes after seeming defeat. And we’ve seen how nutty some of our most respected minds can be. Citizens United, anyone?
Some may think that humility, calm assurance, and quiet determination are signs of weakness. In fact, they are signs of great strength. They show resolve, confidence, and the knowledge that the work has not ended. That it will never end. Winning simply means gaining the privilege of defending the Good.
This post from Slate is about a document sent out to the Montgomery Improvement Association in December 1956, after the US Supreme Court affirmed the federal court ruling of bus segregation as unconstitutional. Seriously, if you passed by that first link, check it out now.
On this weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr., a man who was more politic and talented and diplomatic than I could ever hope to be, I share this post because I find it both inspiring and reassuring. Being passionate doesn’t have to mean aggression. Being angry doesn’t have to mean violence. And winning doesn’t have to mean lording success over anyone – just keeping ground. Demanding ground. Gaining ground.