Nope, this is NOT a line from some holy song about togetherness in God and that sort of thing. This was said to me by an old professor who found me a rebel, a firebrand, and some other nice things that he found interesting about me in my student days…and he said these words to me as I was moving out of the institution.
Those words have never left me.
We all have a fire within; a fire that burns for justice, truth, and equality. Along the way, things might happen to dampen that fire or maybe even extinguish it. But I believe, that can only happen when we choose for it to happen.
That can happen for various reasons: pressures of life, a sense of futility, peer influence, unwillingness to be challenged, a false sense of security… Who knows, we might even create perfectly sensible-sounding reasons for dampening or extinguishing the fire. But then, what we perhaps fail to realise is that along with that we extinguish the very spark of meaning in life.
There is only one way to truly live: and that is on fire. Not the fire of wanton living, reckless adventures, stupid escapades that cause harm…no. no! This is the fire of a cause-driven life, a purposeful living, a life of social transformation. This is the fire of deep involvement, of seeking to go deeper and deeper into the injustices that exist and finding ways to overcome them, to protest against them, to rally people for positive change.
It is a fire that will bring opposition, a fire that will blaze with righteous anger, a fire that will be threatened with extinction by those in power who think your life is in their hands.
But, oh….when you live with that fire burning within…..you are ALIVE.