I recently watched The People Speak (2009), and have once again reflected on the amazing and inspirational contribution of Howard Zinn (1922-2010). I was a little taken aback by how frail he seemed when on stage for the documentary. I guess the last footage of his I had seen was in the film based on his autobiography You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004). In The People Speak, he summed up what we can all do quite simply:
If we live now as we think human beings should live. In defiance of all that is bad around us, that in itself is a marvellous victory.
We can and should do this everyday, not matter how small. Too often, I have found myself making excuses. I think many of us do. For some of us it is experience that fosters this, it is our consciousness. Our witness. It can be based on the abuses we have seen, the destruction and devastation wrought by our collective lifestyles our on collective selves. It is far too easy to make excuses.
We all need inspiration at times. For me, Howard has been one of many sources.
Whereas it is easy to make excuses, it is just as easy a substantial amount of time to do the little things that are a cornerstone of change. We can be each other’s inspirations.