As we mourn the passing of our beloved John Lewis, we honor his life and all that he taught us.
His most recent words, published after his death, give us guidance on how to move forward. As a young man, he believed he could make a difference. And in his death, he believes we can make a difference.
“You must do something,” he wrote. “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.” He also said, “Voting and participating in the democratic process are key,” adding that it is “the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society” and for everyone to “use it.”
“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe,” he wrote. “In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”
“When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”