Like two other people I’ve featured in this “Quote of the Week” feature (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Merton), John Francis is not a capital B Buddhist. But he is definitely a buddha. And his story is very relevant in the wake of the current Gulf oil spill.
After the 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, Francis was so appalled by the destruction from this event that he vowed to not take any form of motorized transportation. And he kept that vow for the next 17 years. He walked everywhere. Between 1971 and 1990, Francis walked through all 48 mainland American states and South America, in Europe, Asia and Antarctica, and gained three university degrees. And during that time, he also took a vow of silence.
For this week’s quote, I’m going to send you to this wonderful WGBH interview with Maria Hinojosa so you can hear John’s words straight from him (along with his trusty banjo):
I especially appreciate the way Francis realized how argumentative he became with people who couldn’t understand what he was doing, and then he realized that to truly be a change-maker, he needed to transform at an even deeper level.
To learn more about John Francis, visit his website Planetwalk.