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Paul Loeb and Faith Kidder: The Unsung Hero

April 1, 2007

Paul Loeb came with a dose of inspiration on March 19, and the over 100 of us who came likely left with a bit more hope that despite sometimes depressing thoughts, and unmet expectations, about the fruits of our labors, we are making a difference.

As he talked, I kept thinking of Faith Kidder. More on that in a moment.

Loeb, nationally known speaker and author (Soul of a Citizen: The Impossible Will Take a Little While) told stories of people who made a big difference without even intending to.

Take Rosa Parks...and Martin Luther King, for instance. Everyone knows their role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights movement. Loeb did not focus on them, however. Why did Rosa Parks finally take action, and who got Rosa Parks involved, he asked? At the time she refused to give up her seat, she was apparently secretary of the local NAACP, and it was apparently her husband who had gotten her interested in involvement with the NAACP. And who got Rosa Parks husband involved, Paul asked? At this point, that's a key, but unanswered, and probably unanswerable question.

As for MLK: just by chance he happened to be a new pastor in town at the time the bus boycott began, and was pressed into leadership, probably against his better judgement at the time. He didn't rush into leadership; he was called to leadership. (King's feeling at the time, in his own words, is quoted in my posting in this space for January 29, 2007, Cindy Sheehan and Season for Nonviolence).

Loeb mentioned a number of other examples: some people of prominence, others we've never heard of, who against all odds made a difference.

And I kept thinking of Faith Kidder.

Without Faith's vision and persistence, we would not have had the opportunity to hear Paul Loeb on March 19. She had seen an essay of his that she really liked, and found his website
http://www.paulloeb.org , and while browsing the site noticed that Loeb had a small opening in his schedule between two midwest engagements. Faith, being Faith, decided to go for it, and lobbied a skeptical Paul Loeb until he was convinced that she, working strictly as an individual, could actually pull together an event worth his time and effort. From his telling, it was several weeks before he decided to take the risk and commit to a program sponsored by an individual he didn't know, who couldn't guarantee much of anything. His reluctance made a lot of sense. Faith didn't quit. I think Paul was glad he came to Minneapolis for the unplanned engagement.

I hardly know Faith, but I know her well enough from other events she's organized to know that when she sets out to do something, she quietly and persistently and effectively gets it done.

So...Paul Loeb spoke to over 100 of us on March 19. He's the one in the photo. But the one who really deserves the credit is the person out of sight in the background, who invested most of the effort, and stayed out of the spotlight, Faith Kidder.

The heroes in this movement, Faith and many others, are and will almost without question be the unsung ones...mostly invisible in the background doing what needs to be done. They may never truly realize the difference that they're making, or made, but they certainly do make all the difference, and they're all around us.

Thanks, Faith, for making what seemed impossible, possible, giving we casual bystanders an inspirational evening March 19.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 27, 2007 10:54 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Spring: A New Beginning.

The next post in this blog is Seeking Peace in Warlike Times.

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