You shall not side with the great against the powerless.
People will tell you you’re naive for thinking one person can’t make a difference. And that’s easy to say, it’s nice, it lets you sit in your house and not think about what you ought to be doing. Civil rights activist Addie Wyatt once said, “Lord, I wish my eyes had never been opened.” But that’s not all it takes. Plenty of people open their eyes and close them again, and tell themselves what they see is merely a dream, and even if it is real, what can they do? Better to stay still, and not get involved. Wouldn’t make a difference anyway.
A woman grabbed a lawn chair and sat outside in the hot Texas sun, and people came. That’s the extraordinary thing. In this age of so much indolence and apathy, people still came. Even if they came to protest her protesting, they came. And look at them now, filling the streets. Look at them changing minds. Look at her, still there, facing down those who oppose her and saying fine, attack me all you like. Say what you want about my family, my friends, my dead hero son. I’m still here.
And that’s the lesson of this summer, I think: Never let anyone tell you one person can’t make a difference. Never let anyone tell you you shouldn’t stand up. Always do whatever you can. Give money if that’s what you can do. Grab a sign and paint it and stick it on the freeway if that’s what you can do. Send a care package to a soldier, an e-mail or a letter to a friend. Write. Call. Blog. Talk. Use whatever voice you have. Even if all that voice is, is a vote, use it to shout as loud as you can. Because that’s a lot, that voice of yours. What are you waiting for?
Look at those pictures. Look what she did.