The Fruits of their Labour

I’ve talked about this before (ages ago) but it strikes me as worth talking about again as it is such a good example of how it is always worth doing what you believe to be right, even when everyone is telling you it won’t change anything.

In July, 1984, a 21 year old cashier in an Irish supermarket – Dunnes Stores- refused to handle two Outspan grapefruit at her checkout. She did this because her union had decided to protest against apartheid in South Africa by not handling South African produce.  The cashier’s name was Mary Manning and she was suspended for her actions.  Ten of her colleagues went on strike to protest  against her treatment and so began a strike that lasted almost three years.

Eventually though, the Dunnes Stores workers prevailed and the Irish government agreed to ban the importing of South African fruit and vegetables until the apartheid regime was dismantled.

Today in Johannesburg, a street is named after Mary Manning and she and her colleagues have been personally commended by Nelson Mandela and his successor, Thabo Mbeki.

As Margaret Mead, the well-known anthropologist said –

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Every single thing that every single one of us does all of the time matters in the overall scheme of things.  There is no such thing as a deed – good or bad –that doesn’t have some effect somewhere.

Scary?  Maybe.

But heartening too when you think about it.


31 Comments

  1. Loved this story and no I hadnt heard of it before .. This is just showing you again how our thoughts however small all add to that consciousness of Unity.. We are all but one pebble, as we spread out our ripple effect of thought..
    Let us spread out Peace and Unity into the world as we add our collective thoughts to the consciousness..
    My hope is that as others start to understand, that our Thoughts Manifest our Present Reality. is that we can begin now to shape our future with the thoughts and actions we being today.. As we think so we create..
    And you have created a wonderful post sending out that message clear to all who can read…
    WE , both you and I as individuals MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our World..
    Lets send out those Ripples my friend..
    Great Post.. ~Sue Dreamwalker xx

  2. Wow. How fantastic is that? I’m glad you reshared it, as I’ve not heard the story.

    3 years is a long time to stick to your guns–what a great reminder that persistence pays off.

    And it makes me wonder about the butterfly effect of the blogosphere as well–if a small group can do that in person, what can we accomplish as a global online community?

  3. Wow. How fantastic is that? I’m glad you reshared it, as I’ve not heard the story.

    3 years is a long time to stick to your guns–what a great reminder that persistence pays off.

    And it makes me wonder about the butterfly effect of the blogosphere as well–if a small group can do that in person, what can we accomplish as a global online community?

  4. I’d never heard this story either. How fantastic – people power at it’s best. Thanks for posting this.

  5. I’d never heard this story either. How fantastic – people power at it’s best. Thanks for posting this.

  6. I have never heard the story of Mary Manning, either. These kinds of stories show us that our choices matter. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have never heard the story of Mary Manning, either. These kinds of stories show us that our choices matter. Thanks for sharing.

  8. That’s one of my favorite quotes. Mary Manning is a hero. It is absolutely the smallest things that start an enormous chain reaction. I think that’s why it IS so important to remember to mind our actions and words.

  9. That’s one of my favorite quotes. Mary Manning is a hero. It is absolutely the smallest things that start an enormous chain reaction. I think that’s why it IS so important to remember to mind our actions and words.

  10. Wonderful reminder how powerful just a few people can be when completely unified. Thank you and many blessings on your messags here at Creating Reciprocity.

  11. Wonderful reminder how powerful just a few people can be when completely unified. Thank you and many blessings on your messags here at Creating Reciprocity.

  12. Wow, what a message of encouragement! I love your point… every action is significant. Thanks for sharing… God bless.

  13. Wow, what a message of encouragement! I love your point… every action is significant. Thanks for sharing… God bless.

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