When asked during his recent visit to JVS how he manages to keep going in the face of the great challenges he faces in Congress, and in our national political and economic environment, Congressman John Lewis reached for biblical inspiration and told those of us gathered to greet him “that this too shall pass.” He recalled that during some of the darkest and most challenging days of the civil rights movement, he and his colleagues tried at all times to “take the long view.” As he spoke, I immediately thought of Martin Luther King’s quote, that “though the arc of history is long, it bends towards justice.”
Congressman Lewis told the students in the JVS Geriatric Care/CNA class that they are inspirational, because they have set a goal, believe in themselves, and are perservering, in spite of many obstacles. He left us all with the message that we need to work together as one community, one people, to build a better place. And in his memoir, which he signed and left for each of us, he notes that “You cannot wait for government to do it. You must make it happen through your own efforts and action and vision and resourcefulness. And unity. A people united, driven by a moral purpose, guided by a goal of a just and decent community, are absolutely unstoppable. We proved that a generation ago. There is not reason in cannot continue, today and on in the dawn of the coming century.”
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