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Have you noticed that nothing in life comes easy? Sometimes you have to be prepared to fight your corner if you feel that you’re right, even if it makes you unpopular with others. William Wilberforce was such a man, he was born in 1759 and entered the House of Commons in 1780 and was also a staunch supporter of William Pitt “the younger.” Together, they both felt sickened by the lucrative dealings in human beings and together they denounced the British slave trade as being abhorrent. They faced stiff opposition from the traders who were making good profits from slave trading and saw no good reason why they shouldn’t continue to do so and they sought
help from some of their rich influential friends in Parliament. Wilberforce and Pitt soon realised they had a fight on their hands, but they persevered with their campaign, winning over more and more MP’s to their point of view and eventually in 1807 Parliament voted to abolish the British slave trade. You would think that Wilberforce would be content with this victory, but no, he carried on campaigning to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire. Wilberforce was also a close friend of John Wesley and from his death bed in 1791 Wesley wrote these famous words, “If God be with you, then who can be against you? Are they all stronger than God? No! so be not weary in your well doing.” Wilberforce never forgot these words from his friend and they encouraged him to keep on fighting until the “Emancipation
Slave Act” was eventually passed in 1833, sadly, one month after his death.
Abraham Lincoln, the most beloved of American Presidents was also unpopular in some of the decisions he made, particularly with sections of the press and he received critical reviews of his “Gettysburg Address.” The Chicago Times described it as, “a shameful, dish watering utterance and an embarrassment to the whole American Nation.”
The one thing these two men had in common was their perseverance in doing what they felt was right, no matter what the opposition. There is an old Arab saying which says, “If you stop every time a dog barks, your road will never end.” If we run away from our critics every time they disagree with us, then we’ll never accomplish anything useful in our lives. We must keep our faith strong and our vision for the future clear.
“Your spirit, your essence, is at the heart of everything about you.
The way you act is a reflection of the core of your very being.”
Published Sun 10th Aug 2014 22:36:56