The following is a personal reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the America I hope my sons inherit…
Who of us, with humble hearts, has not been moved by the words of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech?
Who of us, with humble hearts, has not longed to be a part of a country where freedom — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — is available to all?
Who of us, with humble hearts, has not enjoyed this freedom and with sincerity, thanked a veteran who secured it?
Who of us, with humble hearts, has not celebrated victories over inequality – the rights to learn, work, and vote without prejudice?
But who of us can say Dr. King’s dream, the dream of every humble heart, has been realized?
Yes, we can celebrate and be grateful for progress made, but the humble heart can’t settle for progress.
The humble heart sees places of continued inequality and seeks to bring justice to each person created in the image of God.
- To the unborn child with no voice, we must give them their day in the sun.
- To the child with no parent, we must find a forever family.
- To all children hungry to learn, we must provide quality education.
- To the poor marginalized by economic systems, we must ensure opportunities.
- To the unarmed who were killed, we must secure justice.
- To the foreigner among us, we must protect their humanity.
- To the elderly who are overlooked, we must honor and respect.
To everyone, not based on creed or color, politics or economics, we can live together in peace, sharing possibility and opportunity — IF we have humble hearts.
Dr. King said in his Dream speech: “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”
I too refuse to believe our progress toward justice is enough, which gives me hope. Hope not in our progress or politicians; not in our money or technology. My hope is in humble-hearted Americans. And there are many more humble hearts in our nation than you will ever view on social media or hear about in the news.
Every time we see injustice and act; every time we speak up for the voiceless and serve the marginalized, we bring about Dr. King’s dream, the dream of every humble American. By showing common courtesy to those of differing perspectives, ethnicities and orientations, we make progress toward this dream. When someone in authority ends systemic injustice in society, we make progress toward this dream. When we resist sexist, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic slander, we make progress toward this dream.
And to those with proud hearts, who think the progress made is enough; who believe superiority trumps kindness and live to serve themselves, we see the nightmare you create.
Yet the humble won’t fight for their dream the same way the proud does. We won’t fight like many of our elected officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, who use people as pawns to increase power.
Instead, with peaceful endurance and acts of supernatural love, we will work toward justice for all, one person at a time.
May we, the humble hearted, not be satisfied with progress made, but with God’s help, continue toward the America Dr. King inspired.