Dr. King continues to inspire | Home Again

Jan 27, 2017

Last week, our nation honored the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I’ve often written about King, his belief in building a society in which all people would be equal and in which everyone’s children could play and grow and learn together in safety, free from anxiety and fear.

I watched the recent PBS documentary “Black America Since Martin Luther King.” Among other things, the program covered some shameful history our country owns, just as it owns some shameful current problems – along with owning a great deal of amazing progress, daring exploration and life-changing invention.

Many of King’s words continue to inspire. The following words seem basic to his beliefs; clearly, they are easier to read then to live. “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” He knew.

Recent political events in our country call each of us to look deep within ourselves to find understanding and compassion, even when it’s difficult to do so – and even when we’d rather not. If we strongly disagree with others, it’s easy to feel dismissive of their deepest convictions. I’ll be glad when we’re at a point to move forward together, side by side. I have no idea how long that will take, but it certainly needs to happen.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to affirm the millions of women, men, young people and families worldwide who march peacefully in concern for human rights. I’ll also affirm those who work selflessly to get a new government moving. It will be a government burdened by the dead weight of too many politicians who’ve been in office way too long, with uncontrolled ego and sense of entitlement eroding any sense of responsibility to those who elected them.

Bryant McGill, author of “Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life,” says: “The best practice is to be around people who absolutely disagree. Grace in conflict is a study in love.” What a concept to present to those whose reach doesn’t extend across an aisle. And applying those words to these times certainly could help me be a better person. How about you?

The United States is the best country I could live in. I need to support what I most value while at the same time prying open my mind and heart to hear those who see this land and its government differently. I know I’ve said this many times during the past months, but of course I still believe it: We are all in this together. We are all just walking each other home. And, yes, “Grace in conflict is a study in love.”

Finally, three short perfect sentences from author-theologian Frederick Buechner: “This is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

(On a personal note, I’m beginning week four of pneumonia. I’ve decided it would be wise to start my New Year in February. I’m recovering, but fatigue follows me about, pushing me toward the couch whenever I think I’m finally able to go somewhere, do something. I hope you and those dear to you are in good health.)



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