I look to elders and ancestors for wisdom, guidance and strength. It is in their stories, their actions and their legacy that a path on the road to racial justice is worn.
John Lewis was such a guide. When I think of his legacy, what seems most necessary at this time is his message of hope.
Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen...a feeling of trust.
I must confess, when I look at the history of my nation and when I look at actions (or inaction) by many leaders and fellow citizens, the expectation that equity and justice will prevail is difficult to hold on to. I bear witness to force being used against peaceful citizens, efforts being made to deprive people of the ability to vote, families being separated, children in cages and on and on.
So I have to ask myself, does desire...when fortified by trust, overcome the hopelessness of low expectations?
When I look to the elders and ancestors, I am reminded of the paths that they had to forge in order for me to even be in a position to ask that question. These guides remind me that despite what I am seeing today, I have the right to feel a hope which includes expectations, desire and trust...because they did. And I, like them, have the ability to fortify the path for those who will come after me.