Celebrating Congressman John Lewis – In His Words

The world lost a beautiful human on Friday. John Lewis, the 80-year-old legislator grew up the son of a sharecropper, marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and became one of the most celebrated congressmen in Capitol Hill. Known as one of the Big Six leaders of the civil rights movement, he helped shine on a light on inequity and injustice in our society. He sparked change, enacted legislation, and became the “conscience of the congress”.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., poses for a photograph under a quote of his that is displayed in the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Lewis will be honored this weekend in Nashville, where the civil rights leader once organized sit-ins at the city’s segregated lunch counters. Lewis is being recognized with the Nashville Public Library Literary Award. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

His words speak to me as a Diabetes Specialist and advocate.

We witness people with diabetes struggling with the cost of insulin or fighting the system to receive basic care to maintain their health. In our profession, we have a calling to advocate on behalf of those individuals and fight for better health care delivery systems.

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.
– John Lewis

We might feel discouraged that change is slow and that we have to jump through so many hoops to make sure people get the care they deserve. Mr. Lewis advises us to be optimistic in our lifelong quest to disrupt these systems by getting into “good trouble.”

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” – John Lewis

His work towards a just and fair system was not easy. He was beaten and abused for standing what he believed in, but he kept fighting.

He also kept his values of being kind and loving. His interview, “Love in Action with Krista Tippett is one of my favorites and feels like you are sitting with a good friend, hearing a lifetime of wisdom.

Thank you Congressman John Lewis for a life of service and your persistent belief in our humanity.

To read more John Lewis quotes, click the link below.

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