We were strolling through San Fransisco, taking photos of all the interesting skyscrapers, having a snack at Ferry building. There he was, bent, but intent on justice, humbly waving but never giving up on what he thought was right. Never fighting back, never afraid of adversaries.
My father visited San Fransisco many years ago and followed another minister on his rounds to the homeless, the desolate, the downtrodden. He warned me, you will find so much misery in that town. As our visit had a different purpose, visiting an academic conference, we were in a nice hotel, saw the sights and had wonderful meals. To us, it was so easy to look at all the homeless people not as a misery to themselves, but as a threat and a danger to ourselves. To us it was a beautiful city….on the surface. To me the constellation of Gandhi and those symbols of power and money was a reminder to be willing to raise questions, to not accept injustice, but also in all things strive for peace and nonviolence. To me, the Bible verse : blessed are the peacemakers, are the way I want to live my life. Sometimes it means not to get involved in a meaningless fight, sometimes it means to be willing to hold our ground, sometimes it means working out a compromise.