It has been extraordinary, heart warming and hopeful to see the way the world united to rush to the rescue of the Haitian people after the devastating earthquake that shook the island on January 12, 2010.
Today, we also remember Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream– a dream of unity between whites and blacks.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
Every year the question is asked if the dream has been realized.
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring – when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
One thing is clear; we have unity when it comes to supporting meaningful causes and in times of suffering. It has been demonstrated over and over in past wars and most recently, the Haiti earthquake cause, election of the first African-American President of the United States, and Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
But what about the day to day unity that Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt about? It is my opinion that we have made progress but still have a long way to go. Unfortunately, the unification from the above examples lived only for the duration of the event or cause. Everything else remained the same. The division between cultures in our communities remains the same. The division built by our differences remains strong.
Many more opportunities will arise for us to pull together for a common cause, and with great faith I trust that we will. That is a very good thing. But unless we get to know one another and build deeper relationships with the people we live among, our differences will keep us divided.
Connect and get to know your neighbor today. Say “hello”, invite him or her over and have a cup of coffee, tea or a meal together. Let’s be good neighbors and set a good examples for the next generation.
Do you think we are living the dream? How so or how can we reach it?