Four More Years

I am so fortunate to have had parents who worked to instill in me the very virtues that Martin Luther King, Jr. preached, and to teach me to dream big and lead with love.  As our country honors him today, I thought back to my very first public speaking ‘gig’ where the topic was ‘I Have a Dream’.  I believe I placed second in the competition (I know for sure I didn’t win!) but the messages that I learned in preparation for that stuck with me.

I truly believe that one of our great challenges as a nation lies in our difficulty in seeing past our own beliefs and our own views to understand where others are.  Or to meet them there.

My heart has had to grow a bit tougher over the past six months or so as I read things from many on social media sites that burn a bit.  I don’t agree with the majority of my circle of friends on quite a lot, namely politics and social issues.  And that’s okay.  I like being challenged to consider the different angles and examine my heart and mind for why I believe what I do.  I hope that from time to time I push them to do the same.

But I do hope that as we face the future (and the next four years), we can take a moment to look at things from the other side.  I’ll admit, that I haven’t been very good at this myself.  At all.

But we have to.  We have to realize that someone wanting tighter restrictions on guns may not be because they are {insert whatever name you want to call them} – that maybe, their life was altered in some way by a gun and they wish they could spare that pain from others.  Alternatively, we have to see that someone’s desire to have few limits may come from their belief in being able to protect those they love the best way they can, and maybe there was a day they weren’t protected.  We have to realize that someone’s belief in a social program, may be from their experience as a kid who didn’t have enough food and who’s mom worked hard but it was never enough.

The thing about sides is that they only divide.  I’m not asking you to change your beliefs.  But I am asking you (and I’m asking myself) to consider your words and your actions and your thoughts about people based on beliefs that you really don’t understand.  I’m simply asking you to first assume that the beliefs are based on desires of good, both for their family and for our nation.  And then, accept that we all may think that good will come best in different ways.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the message here and so very well expressed, Anita. You are a wonderful Mom, wife and a person. Your words inspire me.
    <3 Monica

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