Who Will Make the First Move?

“Who will make the first move?” “We are surprised because we don’t see that beneath the surface of the present there is always the human material for change: the suppressed indignation, the common sense, the need for community, the love of children, the patience to wait for the right moment to act in concert with others. These are the elements that spring to the surface when a movement appears in history.

People are practical. They want change but feel powerless, alone, do not want to be the blade ofgrass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make the first move, or the second. And at certain times in his tory, there are intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we understand this, we might make that first move.”

Source: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. A Personal History of our times. Howard Zinn, Beacon Press, Boston, Page 10

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