Across That Bridge Quotes

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Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America by John Lewis
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Across That Bridge Quotes Showing 1-30 of 66
“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. […] Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don't be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once. In the movement, we didn't know how history would play itself out. When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen.

Use the words of the movement to pace yourself. We used to say that ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part. And if we believe in the change we seek, then it is easy to commit to doing all we can, because the responsibility is ours alone to build a better society and a more peaceful world.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“Darkness cannot overcome darkness, only light can do that. Violence can never overcome violence, only peace can do that. Hate can never overcome hate, only love can do that.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“As citizens, we knew we had ceded some of our individual rights to society in order to live together as a community. But we did not believe this social contract included support for an immoral system. Since the people invested government with its authority, we understood that we had to obey the law. But when law became suppressive and tyrannical, when human law violated divine principles, we felt it was not only our right, but our duty to disobey. As Henry Thoreau strongly believed, to comply with an unjust system is to accept abuse. It is not the role of the citizen to follow the government down a path that violates his or her own conscience.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“It is the responsibility, yet the individual choice, of each of us to use the light we have to dispel the work of darkness, because if we do not, the power of falsehood rises. Through our inaction it becomes stronger, and a more potent force. It can even lead to the dimming of the light of all humanity born on this planet. That is why we struggle. That is why we fight to contribute to the confirmation of what is good, to seal our compact with love within our own lives and within our world.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“But we must accept one central truth and responsibility as participants in a democracy: Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“We are one people, one family, the human family, and what affects one of us affects us all.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“Political parties are on the hunt to search and destroy each other, as though we were involved in some kind of enemy combat, rather than the work of statesmanship.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“It is important for upcoming activists to study American history, as well as political and philosophical thought. It is unlikely that what you hope to accomplish is new. Current activism is almost always linked to the history of revolution worldwide, and Americans have a special connection to this legacy because our nation was born out of the struggle against tyranny.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” —MOHANDAS GANDHI”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“even though the truth can’t be denied or erased, it can be systemically obscured, strategically misinterpreted, and hidden from mainstream comprehension”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“The power of faith is transformative. It can be utilized in your own personal life to change your individual condition, and it can be used as a lifeline of spiritual strength to change a nation.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“When you pray, move your feet. —AFRICAN PROVERB”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“[People] are beginning to awaken to an idea we gave meaning to in the sixties: We are one people, one family, the human family, and what affects one of us affects us all.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“It is so strange to me that we have learned to fly in the air like birds, learned to swim in the ocean like fish, shoot a rocket to the moon, but we have not yet learned how to live together in harmony with one another.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“There was a time when politicians needed to be great orators because the people themselves were grappling with the challenges of conscience, trying to perceive what is “right” and what is “wrong.” But today, not only do we miss the eloquence of public speaking, but the moral compass of so many leaders seems to be skewed.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“I have seen this restlessness among the people before. It was in another millennium, another decade, and at another time in our history, but it pushed through America like a storm. In ten short years, there was a tempest that transformed what the American Revolution did not address, what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were afraid to confront, what the Civil War could not unravel, what Reconstruction tried to mediate, and Jim Crow did its best to retrench. This mighty wind made a fundamental shift in the moral character of our nation that has reached every sector of our society. And this history lends us one very powerful reminder today: Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” —BUDDHA”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“We believe some people are more special, more beautiful, more capable, more influential, more intelligent, more gifted, and have a greater capacity for good than others, often based on material possessions and outer appearances. At the root, that is why we are engaged in a struggle now in the Congress led by one group of people who truly believes their role is to defend the privileges of the elite. They defend tax breaks for the rich and ask for trillions in cuts to the safety nets that protect the middle class, the elderly, the sick, and the poor, because, in essence, they believe one group is more important than the other, more deserving than the other, and one contributes more good than the other. This is actually an illusion that is blind to the interdependence of the entire creation, which unites the weak with the strong, the privileged with the poor, and the ugly with the beautiful. All the inequities of our world are basically attempts to actualize this erroneous belief. And that is why there is turmoil, because we are in conflict with the truth, working to manifest an idea that is false.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“When we set our minds against one another, when we focus on destructive energy and propagate the negative notions of separation, division, discrimination, rejection, domination, and war, we waste our power in a futile attempt to debase, degrade, and even destroy the light in others.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“It is only through examining history that you become aware of where you stand within the continuum of change.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“It is the responsibility, yet the individual choice, of each of us to use the light we have to dispel the work of darkness, because if we do not, then the power of falsehood rises.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“To reconcile ourselves with one another, we must release our judgments and make peace with the fact that we are one. This country was founded on the ideal that we are all created equal. If we truly believe in the equality of all humankind, how can we put down and belittle one another? How can we disrespect and prejudge one another? How can we come to the point where we malign and hate one another?”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“The only reason unjust systems exist is that the masses of people silently give their consent and believe these systems are necessary—whether for their security or survival.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“Governments and corporations do not live. They have no power, no capacity in and of themselves. They are given life and derive all their authority from their ability to assist, benefit, and transform the lives of the people they touch. All authority emanates from the consent of the governed and the satisfaction of the customer.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“Martin Luther King Jr. said that peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change
“The truth is a powerful force. It is the foundation of all things. The truth is so all-consuming that it cannot be denied. You cannot erase the truth. You cannot tarnish the truth. You cannot whitewash the truth. It is bigger than the sum of us all, and whole, even in its parts.

And yet, though the truth can't be denied or erased, it can be systematically obscured, strategically misinterpreted, and hidden from mainstream comprehension.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
“It takes courage to admit that we participate in killing, violence, and hate around the world. And once you face the truth, it is difficult to retreat back into a state of unconsciousness. Becoming aware of the truth requires action, and that is when the struggle begins.”
John Lewis, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

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