Letter: Use Negative Experiences to Bring Forth Change
August 24, 2017
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  • On April 19, Dr. David Dao had a paid ticket to fly from Chicago to Louisville on United Airlines Flight 3411 and was legally seated in the airplane. When United Airlines asked Dao to leave the airplane, he refused and stood for his rights. United Airlines called police to forcibly evict Dao, who received serious injuries.

    A similar incident happened on June 7, 1893. Mohandas Gandhi was traveling in a train in South Africa (where racial segregation was common) and bought a ticket for the first-class carriage on the train. At Pietermaritzburg Railway Station in South Africa, railway authorities asked him to move to a third-class compartment due to his skin color. He refused and stood for his rights. Railway authorities called police and asked them to remove Gandhi from the train; authorities forcibly threw Gandhi off. The train moved with Gandhi’s baggage on board. It was extremely cold in Pietermaritzburg and Gandhi shivered all night, even though he did not receive as much physical injury as Dao.

    Gandhi used this experience to bring about a dramatic change for a better quality of life for millions of people. Rosa Parks had a similar experience. She was instrumental in inspiring Martin Luther King Jr., who was instrumental in persuading the president and Congress to give civil rights to African-Americans.

    May God give those who have propensities similar to Dao and have undergone similar experiences wisdom and strength to do as much good as Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. did.