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  • Michele Thomas

MLK'S LEGACY OF HOPE

And so we approach another year’s Martin Luther King Day, a year when we are, more than ever, a nation divided. It was not MLK but Abraham Lincoln who said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” but it was MLK who said, “I have a dream,’ and expressed a dream of a house—that is, a nation—united. I don’t know who it was who is quoted on the Facebook meme that posits, “Even if we disagree about everything, we can still be kind to each other.” There is no attribution given. But surely it is a sentiment with which Dr. King would have agreed. I can almost hear him saying it—even though I’m sure he never actually did. If we are kind, if we are unifiers, if we are not divisive, maybe there is hope for this nation yet. Let us all make a commitment—nay, a solemn vow—to be kind and respectful to others of a different view, of a different hue, of a different religion, of a different nationality, of a different socioeconomic background. Let us stop thinking of those who are different in appearance or in thinking or in worldview as The Other. Let us remember the words of the hymn that states unequivocally, “With God as Creator” [some churches sing it as “With God as our Father”], “Family all are we.” Even if you don’t believe in God (and I respect your right to your belief, as I hope you respect my right to mine), you can still agree that we are all one human family. Let us embrace that sentiment, that hope for a more unified nation, that dream of MLK’s. Let us work toward a time of re-unification of country. One more quote, if I may—this one from the Bible—Isaiah, to be precise. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.” But—and here is where we circle back to MLK—how can we hope to remain peaceful with other nations when we cannot even be peaceful with our own brethren?! MLK had a dream. MLK left us a legacy of hope. Do you share it?

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