Many of you are too young to remember that there was a time when the 4 min. mile had not been broken, and it's my recollection that for many, many years, it was the unbroken standard. Many doubted that it could ever be broken. And then in the year, I don't remember which, Roger Bannister broke the 4 min. mile. And in that year, or the year after, many people broke the 4 min. mile.
We all know that's how works, don't we? Gandhi established a standard and then the US civil rights movement followed on that standard. A man in Tunisia self-immolated, the Tunisian revolution followed, then Egyptians, the Libyans. Does it always happen? Of course not, but when major social change, when major change of any sort happens, it happens when a new standard, the clear, courageous possibility of a new standard is proven; it happens when the possibility of a new pace is established.
That's the job of the Unviolent warrior, the potent activists. That's what they do - they blaze a new trail, they establish a new speed, and invariably they move history in a new direction.
Sometimes we know their names. Sometimes we don't. We don't know the names of hundreds or thousands of activists in South Africa who were brutally murdered for setting a new direction, standard, pace in 1960 1970 1980 apartheid South Africa; dying anonymous, cruel deaths. But not anonymous to everyone. They became shoulders that others began to stand on.
And that's our job.