Never Give Up need not be callous, hard-hearted, without compassionate, rigid, or inflexible. It gives us guidance on our journey, can offer advice when we’re flagging, help us remember the bigger picture, remind ourselves that we’re in this for the long haul and, most importantly perhaps, that we’re in this together, through thick and thin.
In the aftermath of the most recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida, I read about the dedicated activist for whom the school was named – Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
I became further inspired by the students from Parkland, now standing up, showing up, speaking out, loudly and clearly, and who are now, as I write this, in Tallahassee speaking to legislators about stopping gun violence.
Here just two clips:
“Douglas, who challenged the political and business establishment of her day, would be proud of the students’ courageous efforts to galvanize a movement for gun control, which now includes a nationwide walkout by students and teachers scheduled for April 20.”
“Be a nuisance where it counts,” Douglas once said. “Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics—but never give up.”
I quote another of my heros, Howard Zinn. His final point in his essay On Getting Along is “Don’t look for a moment of total triumph. See it as an ongoing struggle, with victories and defeats, but in the long run the consciousness of people growing. So you need patience, persistence, and need to understand that even when you don’t “win” there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that you have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile.”
Never Give Up, and enjoy the ride!