Today in Meeting a member spoke of the Grimké sisters, two Quaker women who were blessed with a mission to end slavery and women's subjugation. Articulate and clear, they were traveling missionaries who shared their conviction for abolition and women's suffrage.
In their lifetimes, Sarah Moore Grimké (1792–1873) and Angelina Emily Grimké (1805–1879), they witnessed the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War, but it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote.
As Quakers we often feel frustrated because we seek a world of equality and fairness, but are faced daily with the glacial pace of change in Congress and the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans who blithely accept the status quo or work against equality.
The message in today's meeting was that all movements take time and we must take the long view and know that our participation in change, while seemingly small, will turn the tide in the long term. Specifically what was said was "grassroots movements bring change." and while we "support the legislative agenda of FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation) we should also be out in the street."
We can't wait for Congress or the President to make changes. Government is the last entity to fully grasp the will of the people. Margaret Mead said it best: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Today young people are demanding change. They are just a few years away from voting. If we value equality, community, peace, and integrity, we ought to be doing everything we can to support them in the halls of Congress ... and out in the streets!