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Courage is Contagious

By Frances Moore Lappé / December 11, 2018

A crowd gathers in Leipzig, Germany to commemorate the 70,000 people who courageously joined together in 1989 to peacefully demand freedom and democracy, a catalyst for the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Image: LTM/PUNCTUM)

Originally published on Common Dreams, December 11, 2018

This is the 9th of Frances' Thought Sparks Video Series as she opens her heart about what fortifies her in this scary time & shares her often-surprising takes on themes of hope, democracy, and courage.

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No matter how many times we hear of one person’s act of conscience igniting sparks that light up the sky, too many of us hold tight to the notion that our own acts don’t mean much. Aren’t we the proverbial drops in the bucket, nice but never spectacular? Or, as it dawned on my daughter Anna and me while writing Hope’s Edge for many of us it’s even worse. We feel more like drops in the Sahara, evaporating before we even hit the sand.

One reason for blindness to our own power could be that we can’t see the bucket that our “action drops” are filling up--that is, the big, system-changes our individual choices inch forward. I do know that every time in my life that I have been able to catch even a glimpse of such a bucket, my life has changed.