Whom do you admire most? Today we are bombarded with celebrities clamoring for our admiration and adulation, but in my opinion, 98% of such folks don’t deserve the admiration heaped upon them. Given I am not a big sports fan, it’s beyond me how a man who kicks, throws, or catches a ball for a living could be anyone’s hero. But, to each their own.
Several years ago I became of aware of a remarkable lady who went by the name of Peace Pilgrim. A young woman whose name I don’t remember came to speak at a church service I attended, and afterwards she passed out these little blue “Steps Toward Inner Peace” booklets. This was my first introduction to Peace Pilgrim, and reading that little booklet was life-changing.
Peace Pilgrim, aka Mildred Norman, started out protesting the Korean War in 1953 and for the next 28 years criss-crossed the North American continent over 5 times ON FOOT. Without so much as a sleeping bag or backpack (she only carried a comb and toothbrush), she trudged along solely on faith that good people would listen to her “little peace message”. She vowed to walk until given shelter and fast until given food (she never begged and only accepted what was offered to her).
When I first read her little booklet, I was filled with so much admiration she soared right to the top of my Most Admired. She slept on the bare ground many nights, not even with a blanket. That alone baffles me. According to her writings, she never got discouraged. I get discouraged shamefully easily, and just her endurance and perseverance alone has me flabbergasted.
Later in her journeys she accepted rides and sadly was killed near Knox. IN, on July 7, 1981 while on her seventh cross-country walk, 11 days before her 73rd birthday.