031. Need be, I'll row by myself, leave empty oars, till l those equally or more committed arrive


300 million people in his country at the time, and Gandhi up against the world's superpower, Britain, and yet he acted as though if he had to work alone that he was going to work alone.  It was clear to him what needed to be done, the level of discipline, the code of Unviolence spelled out in detail, the code requiring Unviolence even when facing the cruelest opposition.  By all appearances, if Gandhi had to work alone, without people equally committed to the vision, the goal, the means, that's what he would do; and that's what he did do, at times of new direction and movement startup, and building. 

And that's how Dr. King was and it's clear that that's how Alice Paul was in the women's suffrage movement.  She didn't play.  If people showed up to work as she did, to subordinate ego as she did, to devote their lives as she was, as the mission required, they were eagerly welcomed.  But if that isn't why they were there, anything less, they were unwelcome; sisters all!  But unwelcome.

On the river here, the Potomac, as on the Schuylkill, as on the Charles up in Boston, are these overprivileged kids like I was in a sport that I tried in college.  I forget exactly what it's called, rowing,  I guess.  The boats are called shells, I think.  It's an awful sport, unless you like pain a lot, but imagine you're in one of those boats and it's desperately important that you get to a destination.  It's a four-person boat, the wind isn't bad, you can row it to the destination if you have to. 

Of course you would like three people that were equally as dependable, as committed, as reliable, as focused as you, in getting to the goal.  And you might pay any personal price to get such people in the boat with you.  But if what's available is people that, 'Oh, for part of the trip of they'll focus, for part of the trip they'll be de-focused and thinking about other things, not pulling very hard.  Later on they might like not like the direction, they might want to argue about the goal, they might row toward a different goal.’  You're gonna pray like crazy that you have the discipline and good fortune to see such brothers and sisters before they ever get into the boat; and if what's available is the latter, and those who share your vision, commitment, discipline and urgency are not available, you’re going to row alone.  Right?

Is that antisocial?  It's common sense.  It's common humanity isn't it?

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