A blog focusing on politics in Central Illinois.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where are the new David Livingstons?

From Bob Sampson via Marucco's blog on the passing of County Board Member David Livingston.
DAvid Livingston was truly a historic figure in Decatur. What many people may not realize is that he had a distinguished career long before he joined the county board, eventually serving from two different districts. The Livingston family, including David, were among the civil rights pioneers in Decatur. I'm talking 1930s and 1940s, long before there was any federal legislation or public opinion to defend or encourage the effort to make our society a fairer one, one that actually lived up to the Declaration of Independence. David was a man of courage, conviction and quiet leadership. It was my great privilege to campaign with him and serve with him. Like many others, I will miss his example of courage in the face of pain and ill health and the inspiration he provided all who came in contact with him. I will especially miss his steadying, dependable influence on the board where a few words from David more than equaled a lengthy speech from others. His pain is over. HIs memory and example live on to inspire those in pubic service. Rest in peace, good friend.
Bob Sampson
Where are people like David Livingston these days? The thing i remember most vividly about David is the wall in his basement on the far north end. It is a testament to his life's work of achieving equality for all. From certificates of service as a youth mentor to man of the year awards dating back to the 60's and earlier, it was quite easy to see that David was devoted to a righteous and just cause at a time when it wasn't easy. Too often we get along and go along instead of making waves, and in doing so we co-opt our beliefs. Maybe we fake a laugh when others are even though we know what they're laughing at is wrong. Maybe we pretend we don't hear something that we do, because it's easier than saying something. Speak up for your beliefs people, because if you don't do that, then do you stand for anything at all? The world needs more courage as exemplified by David Livingston, God Bless my friend.
              Dear lovely Death
That taketh all things under wing -
Never to kill -
Only to change
Into some other thing
This suffering flesh,
To make it either more or less,
But not again the same -

Dear lovely Death,
Change is thy other name.
- Langston Hughes