What a strange week this is likely to be, bookended by this MLK day and the inauguration of Donald Trump. It's a good week to remind myself of my favorite quote by King:
"The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice."
I want to remember times when it seemed like no progress could ever be made, and then, voila, history changed in what seemed like a flash: the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, for example, or Nelson Mandela being set free.
I want to believe that even if an administration makes changes I don't always agree with (like the changes to the welfare system in the 90's), it may work out in ways I don't expect. And even disastrous policies aren't forever. They may point us in a way we'd rather go.
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” MLK
Over the week-end, we had a lovely Sunday lunch--we compared notes on when and where we were born. Two of them were born in different places than their hometowns because the hometown didn't have a local hospital. Two of them were born in different places than their hometowns because their hometown hospitals didn't have the capacity to deliver "colored babies."
We have seen enormous changes happen during our lifetimes.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” MLK
Four of us had seen the movie Hidden Figures, but two had not, so we couldn't discuss it thoroughly. Still, we agreed that what we liked best about the movie was how uplifting it was. No one was blown up. The racist southerners were capable of change--maybe not huge changes, but change enough to open the door to more.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.” MLK
Today is a day to dream big and bold visions. We could change our society. We could make it better. What would that society look like?
We have to dream that dream before we can achieve it. We have to find the courage to hold tightly to our visions. We have to face down all the fire hoses, both those of our minds which inform us of the impossibility of our dreams and those of our society, that tells us to move more slowly.
But first we have to dream. Dream boldly, today of all days.