Be more like John Lewis

"Be headlights, not taillights."

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John Lewis Mural Atlanta
John Lewis Mural Atlanta

It’s 91 degrees in Atlanta, and I have the chills watching Obama’s eulogy for John Lewis.  Mr. Lewis was my district representative for 20 years and fellow Alabamian.  He did none of his great works with his obituary in mind.  He was just living a life, every day, aligned to his core values.  Be more like John Lewis.

I walked by his seat on a plane home from D.C. to Atlanta years ago.  I was hoping we’d make eye contact but was a little nervous about what to say if we did.  I was thinking about ways to sound smart and politically savvy.  He looks up.  Oh, eye contact!  I bumbled, a little bit surprised, and said, “Hi, um, thank you, Mr. Lewis.”   (Seriously, Donna, just “hi, um, thank you?”)  Mr. Lewis replied with a smile and slight nod, “No, thank YOU, young lady.”  Be more like John Lewis.

Mr. Lewis’ legacy has me now chomping at the obit, my own obit, restless to run the rest of my race as he challenged us to do: “Be headlights, not taillights.”  Be more like John Lewis.

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