As Martin Luther King Jr day 2012 comes to a close, I’m reminded to think of this “holiday” as a day on, not a day off. Dr. King’s message to all of us resonates in how we come together over community issues and recognize our part. Inequality is toxic; the more we act to keep differences divided, the further we remove ourselves from the possibilities of true growth. One student in my MBA program said this past weekend that America is not a melting pot. Rather, it is a salad of rich colors and textures. We all belong in this salad of diversity, and we all have a role to play.
Community activism spokesperson, Paul Rogat Loeb writes in Soul of a Citizen about Rosa Parks’ story:
Parks’s story also reminds us that as we do tackle common problems, we can discover and develop strengths and passions we never knew we had. We can begin to reconnect with our fellow human beings, with our wisest and most humane instincts, and with the core of who we are, which we call our soul. – p. 3
How true. To push away diversity is to eliminate the soul of a community. In my travels, the tightest and strongest communities, the ones with a palpable heartbeat, are the ones that recognize life as a messy business. To be alive is to be filled with wonder at the awesome spectrum of fellow citizens we see everyday.
To serve others as a citizen is to have a soul.
To serve only one’s own interests is to discard the web of life and to be dreamless.
I have a dream that everyone digs deep to find their inner citizen who serves, and by serving, everyone plays their part in the resurrection of a community’s soul.
Happy MLK day, with much love and peace.