Congressman John Lewis, on love
Krista Tippet: Love, as you are talking about it, as you have aspired to live it, is not a way you feel, it’s a way of being.
Congressman John Lewis: It’s a way of being, yes. It’s a way of action. It’s not necessarily passive. It is—it has the capacity, it has the ability, to bring peace out of conflict; it has the capacity to stir up things in order to make things right.
When we were sitting in, it was love in action.
KT: When you were doing the sit-ins, like in stores that had been segregated, and—
JL: When we went on the freedom ride. It was love in action. The march from Selma to Montgomery was love in action. We do it, not simply because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s love in action. That we love our country, we love our democratic society, and so we have to move our feet.
"Love at its best"
“Sometimes people are afraid to say ‘I love you.’ We’re afraid to say, especially in public life, many elected officials, worthy elected officials, they’re afraid to talk about love. Maybe people tend to think it’s something so emotional about it. Maybe it’s a sign of weakness. And we’re not supposed to cry, we’re supposed to be strong.
But love is strong. Love is powerful. The movement created what I like to call a nonviolent revolution. It was love at its best. It’s one of the highest forms of love: that you beat me, you arrest me, you take me to jail, you almost kill me, but in spite of that I’m gonna still love you.”