Friday, October 15, 2010

Benediction for 10/15/10

A collection of quotes from the late Cesar Chavez

I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of humanity, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be human is to suffer for others. God help us to be human.

We work so hard at not being human, so hard at being something other than ourselves. The whole idea is that you have to be what you are and let other people be who they are. We don’t have to change people to change the world. Because there are enough of us; we don’t need a whole majority to do it. We have to find people and help them to act. Without action, you’re kidding yourself.

I know it doesn't take everybody in the world to get things done. It takes a few and those few are there. So it’s not a question of converting anyone or getting people to make a new commitment. The commitments are there. We just have to find them. That's a hard thing. Getting the word out, communicating, giving people some action they can take. Together, there will be a great impact.

We have a rule not to write or to preach about nonviolence. I’ve never written a word about nonviolence. There are people like you who have written all about nonviolence. We don’t have to write about it, interpret it, or dissect it. It’s very simple for us. We just do it. Nonviolence has to go beyond the rhetoric. There’s no real trick to being nonviolent if you’re in your room praying the rosary. Anybody can do that. But how about being nonviolent in the face of violence? That’s where it really happens.

If you are of service, you serve at your convenience. You will say, “Oh, I can't do this today at 5:00 or on Sunday, but perhaps I can next week.” If you are a servant, you are at their convenience. You are at their service all the time. You are there to serve people. That's faith and commitment.

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