In her moving post, Teach Fear to Heel, Patti Digh includes this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that hit me like a bolt of lightning:
“If you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live. You may be thirty-eight years old, as I happen to be, and one day some great principle, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great issue, some great cause. And you refused to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house.
So you refuse to take the stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at thirty-eight as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announced of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right."
Last week, I heard part of the ulogies on the radio from Coretta Scott King’s memorial service. The message from one of the speakers was, in a nutshell, that as incredible a gift to humanity Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. were, that we don’t need any more of them.
Instead, we need you, and you, and you: to stand up, to take a stand, on whatever issue, passion or principle, regardless of the risks or the costs.
Yes, it’s that important.
What is so dear or precious to you that you will take a stand?
What do you stand for?