As I prepared to write a post commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, I re-read one that I wrote years ago. After doing so, I am stunned that the same post, word for word, could be written today, four years later. So, instead of writing a new one, I offer it to you today, unchanged but for a few edits, in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. You can read the original post here.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. ~ An excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.s “I Have A Dream” speech
On this day commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King and his birthday, I cannot help but think of the divisiveness that has taken over our nation during the last decade. For a large segment of this country, agreeing to disagree is akin to an accusation of murder. Differences of opinions are now regarded as personal attacks, and in some cases, may lead to such. Ironically, those who are the first to scream and shout that their First Amendment rights are even slightly infringed upon, are the very same people who shamelessly denigrate the beliefs and points of view of others, as they champion their own.
On a grand scale, there is no simple or quick fix to the angry, hateful climate stoked and allowed to fester for more than a decade. We cannot look to the media, politicians, or anyone else for that matter, to fix the problem, because in some cases, they participated in stirring the pot of discord that has infected this nation. The answer lies within each of us. Of course, there are a multitude of actions that we each can take to ensure that we are not part of the problem, but a part of the solution. One suggestion is to begin each day with this affirmation:
“Today I will attempt to see anything I am involved with from more than one perspective. If I feel myself getting stuck in the way I see things, I will say to myself, “I wish to see this differently,” and know that my sincere desire will result in a shift of awareness. There is really no one right way to see anything . To allow my point of view to shift will not only produce insight and relief for a particular circumstance but it will give me practice in letting my mind and move freely and independently. I will allow myself the luxury of relaxing my rigid point of view and letting new light and fresh awareness come into my inner sight. I believe that it is possible to see things in a variety of ways.” ~Tian Dayton, Ph.D.
How you choose to deal with the problem is up to you, so long as your solution is positive, and does nothing to add to the rancor and divisiveness of the day. Listening and treating others and their point of view with the respect that it deserves, does not mean that we must change our point of view one iota, but who knows, we might learn something. The important thing is that, for the health of this country, we “transform the jangling discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood,” as Dr. King envisioned.