Editorial: Destination beyond our imagination
As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech from 50 years ago, we are awed every bit as much as we are inspired.
Whether hearing the message in audio clips, or reading the transcript of his speech, his baritone booms into our conscious. Whether positively or negatively, it resonates with what is in our soul today and who we will be tomorrow.
Whatever any of us may have thought of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, our generation today goes forward knowing it only as a chapter in history. It is among the most important in America’s growth as a society and a nation.
But under no circumstance can those who were not alive to witness and experience the events of that day fully comprehend what blacks and whites went through. Expectations were there for both races. Each had moments of greatness despite society’s chasm, and each had moments they’d rather not anyone know about.
Fortunately, we learn from history so we are not doomed to repeat it. We are no more convinced our country is headed backward to those tension-filled days than we are to believing enough progress in race relations has been achieved.
Our society, and our country, is a living being. We are evolving each and every day. At times we are in splendor, as beautiful as the butterfly. Others reveal our weakness and imperfection.
King’s dream was big. No peak was too high and no valley had a bottom. He was moving, he was taking a nation with him and the final destination was beyond anyone’s 1960s imagination.
Closing the racial divide was not the only measure of his mission. Doing it the right way was of equal importance. That he accomplished both against staggering odds teaches the importance of never giving up.
As we move forward, we cannot erase any chapters of history from existence. We can’t change the old relationships between blacks and whites, and we can’t change the progress that King and others in the civil rights movement created.
We can focus on who we have become, how that happened, and on who we want to be. We can make changes to achieve our dreams, whatever they may be.
And we can dream big.