Who inspired me with her courage?
The Peace Pilgrim
What did she do that required a remarkable amount of courage?
Mildred Lisette Norman Ryder's path in life took her many, many places and after the age of 44, she arrived at each new place by foot. She called herself the Peace Pilgrim and strove to promote Inner Peace, Peace between Individuals, Peace between Communities and Peace between Nations. It was not a popular idea at the time.
On January 1st 1953, as the Korean War raged on and McCarthyism destroyed lives, the Peace Pilgrim began to walk. The only things she carried with her was a comb, a toothbrush and a pen. She chose to "walk until given shelter and fasted until given food." She walked until July 7th, 1981. After 25,000 miles she gave up counting.
During her 28 years of crisscrossing the United States, her message was simply: good can overcome evil, love can overcome hate and truth can overcome falsehood. She truly walked the walk.
I heard her story a handful of years ago and can think of no better way to start off this month of sharing stories of courageous people than with the story of the Peace Pilgrim. My hat goes off to the memory of this inspiring woman!
Where can I find out more information?
Go here and check out the foundation begun in her honor.