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The truth does not change

The venerable 80-year-old statesman and Freedom Rider John Lewis died on July 17th. His very life was exemplary of Annie Dillard's quote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

Before he died, he penned an essay that was published in the NY Times on the day of his funeral. Like Lewis himself, the message is passionate, hopeful and encouraging. I hope he is right. One of his convictions is this:

  • The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time.

The truth does not change -- such a profound and fundamental statement is worthy of contemplation. Social mores and conditions change with time and place but that is not truth. Women couldn't vote, then they could; a social more. Jim Crow laws; forced artificial social and economic conditions. Caste systems? Cultural more. You get it, right? The truth is that all humans -- regardless of gender, skin color, economic status -- seek love and dignity, for themselves and from themselves. People have been working this out for a long time; we still are. That Lewis adds the "answers worked out long ago can help [us] find solutions to the challenges of our time" is testimony to what he means when he says the truth does not change. Times change. But truth does not change. We're always working it out.

Love is true. Let love be your north star and remember that your "fortunes" (those social mores and conditions that change with time) can turn on a dime. Don't be quick to judge others. It could be you, next. Lewis ends his essay with these words:

  • ...let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

Good advice. I will add this ancient wisdom as additional guidance to Lewis's.

  • Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

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