Today is the day we reflect on Martin Luther King's Birthday and at the risk of it becoming simply another day to take off and catch post Christmas sales many of us grapple with how to approach it. So as I woke up this morning I thought about what seemed to be the main message of Dr. King's life. At first glance it appears that it was about race, and in it's day it was about race. However, race, I believe was the tool to put a face on the need to address a topic that transcends race. It was a tool used to work on our failing practices toward humanity. No characteristic should have caused humans to treat humans so poorly --not in 1963 or 1863 or 2003 or today. And yet we as a nation were not evolved enough to completely wrap ourselves around the notion. But it took the civil rights movement and Dr. King as it's voice to deliver critically needed concepts to Americans and then on to the larger world.
I was actually thinking about Dr. King's "Dream" and what he must have seen. I thought about how we can still hope to continue to see similar images. As as mother, I thought about how I can work to show those type visions to my own children and to the children I encounter..... I think Dr. King saw civility, compassion, caring, consideration to name a few... They seem like such simple concepts and yet in today's world they have become so elusive. These aren't principles we should have to work to focus on as we try to celebrate this man but rather they should be a basic part of our humanity. They should be incorporated into our daily lives and yet for so many of us it is actually a struggle to think of ways to display the concepts. Many times we surrender and simply try to do some things we otherwise don't seem to have time for in our lives.
There is a note of irony that just a week prior to the King holiday there was an act of violence in the country that once again stunned a nation. Then again, perhaps it isn't ironic at all. Could it possibly be that what Dr. King stood for is so much bigger and stronger than he, a mere man? Could it be another example of his spirit demanding our attention? Through seemingly sensless acts of anger and violence something is still trying to remind of us of how we are to live. Perhaps it is harder to get our ear with all our Ipods and IPhones.... we feeling like we have to be superhuman and getting frustrated with the reality that we are simply humans.... We must committ ourselves to remembering to care for one another and for ourselves without the need for gunshots to ring out and get our attention. We must committ to compassion and perhaps it is as easy as starting in our own homes, our own lives and then take it out into the larger world. For those of us who pride ourselves on being good christians this is what we profess and supposedly live by and for all those who follow different doctrines there is usually a fairly similar drumbeat that you march to.
Recently we have come up with a catchy slogan about letting this be a day "on" not a day "off". Well, I suggest we let it be the beginning of how we live our lives everyday. Perhaps we should have something formally renew our intentions of being more civilized than the year before. Maybe it should be a time when we remember to feel for one another. Clearly the spirit lives on and it is our job to make the vision more of a reality.
Let's all simply show care for somebody .... and let us start with today.
Helping To Put Things In Context: Something You Should Know About D.C.
Everyone knows Washington, D.C. for being the nation's capital where decisions are made that affect the country itself and impacts the world at large. But between the time that politicians and special interest groups like to use the city as the reason for all that ails America, it has a more intimate side. This is the side that one could think of as the "local" aspect of the city. I think if people understood what really exists within the boundaries of this diamond shaped (minus a complete side) metropolis, their perspectives may be altered considerably. As AWashingtonWoman will continue to focus on some of the wonderful women who make up the fabric of the DMV (a term used for the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and includes: the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia), we will also strive to give you a little of the backstory, as objectively as we can. So it's been a year since this all began and without really trying, this blog has exceeded what our expectations were. So we are thinking that with a little love and a lot of integrity, we can share some real true insight which can be entertaining as well as informative. Who knows?.... Maybe it will even be ..... helpful.