As for subthemes of John Lewis narration, we may outline his vision of own personality in the entire civil rights movement – “people who are like fireworks, popping off right and left with lots of sound and sizzle. . . . Where will they be at the end? . . . Firecrackers go off in a flash, then leave nothing but ashes. I prefer a pilot light — the flame is nothing flashy, but once it is lit, it doesn’t go out. It burns steadily, and it burns forever”. Calling himself “pilot light”, this author used the work to express own views, life principles and experience. It is difficult to stay indifferent, when he recalls the moments of failure and depression with Kennedy’s and King’s assassinations – “It hurt so incredibly much when they were taken away,” Lewis writes. ”It was like trusting yourself to all in love again after you’ve given your heart once and had it broken.
. . . What could we believe in now?”. In the same way, readers cannot stay indifferent in the part of author’s thoughts about commitment as ”patience and persistence”, “Beloved community”, faith, Christianity.
In fact, “Walking With the Wind” is incredibly inspiring work. Except its validity to enlighten wide masses with real story of greatest time in American history, it is incredibly influential for civil consciousness forming. In other words, it is practically impossible to find out another book that will be equally influential to reach the real understanding of liberal values and theirs’ implementation in our everyday life. Notwithstanding age, race, religion or political views every one of us is welcome gather and learn real meaning and guidelines of civil responsibility, and make them example to follow even with everyday routine.
Lewis, John. Walking with the Wind: A memoir of the movement. Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998.