On March 20, 2016 a celebration of Grace Lee Boggs’ 100-year life was held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. The memorial speakers offered stories and lessons learned from Grace, who was active in social change work for three quarters of a century. Here is a sampling of what was shared, followed by my full journal notes.
1. We remake ourselves to remake the world.
2. What do I need to change in myself to be more effective in changing the world?
3. What does it mean to “grow our souls”?
4. Praxis is about changing our minds and our perspectives in response to changing conditions.
5. Questions are more important than answers.
6. Go beyond simply complaining and waiting for others to change it or fix it.
7. Seek out like-hearted people who are weaving the sacred hoop of humanity back together.
8. Put less energy into stopping the bad and more energy into creating the new.
9. Balance action with reflection, and tune into heart as well as head and hands.
10. Create spaces that pre-figure or model the change we want to create.
11. We can’t change the times that we live in, but we can change how we live in these times.
12. Combine a sense of urgency with patience.
13. We are the end of one epoch and the beginning of another.
14. Reimagine everything. Live in the new ways. Evolve to a higher humanity.
15. It is up to us to envision and create a world beyond our wildest dreams.
My journal notes from the memorial:
To learn more about Grace’s life of social change, view the documentary film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.
A trailer for the film is here.
Two of my previous posts have selected quotes by Grace:
I took the photo of Grace in 2014 at a showing of American Revolutionary at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, on what turned out to be her last West Coast trip.