Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jon on Jackie and Changing the World

Jon writes from the road:

I saw 42, the film about Jackie Robinson, the other night. During Jackie's first many games, he was taunted by racists in the stands over and over again. He and the team executives understood that if he were to continue to play, he would have to bite his tongue each and every day. And so he did, as ignorant people spewed irrational and venomous nonsense. Jackie didn't respond, and he eventually won the war; he had a career leading to an induction in the Hall of Fame, and MLB became an integrated sport. While we never have to endure anything like Jackie did, we have a similar choice every time we get out to do this work -- we can get upset over any tiny jab thrown at us, or we can channel any frustration effectively so that it leads to a better world. Any individual who actively challenges the status quo is going to get resistance. And it's the effective advocates who see beyond the immediate problems and instead focus on long-term progress.