I recently finished a book called Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea. It was a very interesting book where I was introduced to a lot of historical figures I knew little about. In the book there was one quote that stood out to me. The quote was by Ralph DiGia, a famous nonviolent protester within the US. He said these words after protesting the war.
"I never expected to stop the war, but you have to stand up for what you believe in or nothing ever changes."
I don't know anyone who disagrees with this. I think we all learned very young from our parents or teachers that we are to be bold and stand up for what we believe in. Whether that be our faith, a cause, or an individual, we seem to know on a deep level that we are to stand up for what we believe in no matter the result.
Still, I stopped after reading this quote. It led me to ask questions of myself and of the people around me. How often is this just theory in my life? How often does my life reflect my belief? I think part of the reason that our culture is skeptical of each other is because we "believe" one thing in theory and model something else with actions. Mr. DiGia devoted his life to nonviolent protest of wars and rights violations. Anyone who met him or heard of him knew that this was true. He gave everything for this cause.
What would it look like to devote our lives to what we are passionate about? What would need to change? Where would we need courage?
I hope that this quote impacts me and isn't forgotten as simple words that I have read and enjoyed. I hope the impact goes beyond my life. I truly hope that this world is filled with passionate people living with focus.