Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Living a Dream Still Requires a lot of Work - 1-20-10 Editor's Column

This week we celebrated the birthday of one of the most influential individuals in our nation’s history.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been revered by many since his passing and also remembered, specifically for the dream he shared with so many who were willing to listen as he stood at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.

As the years have gone by, we have struggled to realize that dream, though we continually make strides towards what many might call a Utopian society.

Often times, I am awestruck by how far we have come in our acceptance and understanding of one another, whether we are black, white, or otherwise.

Other times, I stand baffled by the selfishness and hate that we try to ignore but can’t quite get away from.

However, as I find myself standing in this in-between place with a view of the good and the bad, I can’t help but feel like we have accomplished - at least in part - what Dr. King was persecuted and murdered for so many years ago.

Our schools accept individuals of all colors and teach the value of equality and the harm of intolerance.

Our businesses treat customers like family, no matter what their backgrounds or lineages might be.

While we still battle with those who would try to disrupt our progress, more often than not they are made examples of and allow others trying to follow in their footsteps to see the folly of their ways.

We are in the middle of Dr. King’s dream.

But we still have a lot of work to do.

Racism does not simply go away with a few words and a sweep of a broom under the rug. Nor does intolerance.

In order to progress we must not let ourselves be caught up in fear, but be led by the need for understanding.

A need to understand our own history and why change was implemented and needed in the first place.

A need to understand the emotions of those around us and ask why they exist instead of chiding their existence.

But most importantly, a need for continued patience as we make baby steps in the right direction.

Dr. King had a dream that he hoped one day would come true. Dreams have a tendency of becoming reality when enough people strive to see them realized.

That said, as you do your own part in realizing Dr. King’s dream, no matter how small or big, be sure to step back, look at your progress and enjoy the view.

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