This was written on the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the day of Dr. King’s “Dream” speech.
Martin Luther King’s dream was not just about harmony among various people. It was a dream of justice. A dream of equity. A dream of everyone having a job. A dream of an end to war.
King’s dream was a vision of love in action.
We still don’t have justice, equity, jobs, or an end to war. Racism, injustice, oppression, transphobia, torture, economic divide and misogyny all still dog our heels. Yet every moment, we have an opportunity to make a choice toward love.
I’ve had many conversations just this week about why standing firmly for love and justice is important for us all. I’ve said it many times before, and I will repeat myself again: racism isn’t just the ugly bigot spewing hate. Racism exists in systems of oppression. Racism exists in subtle encounters. Racism exists. Misogyny exists. Transphobia exists. Homophobia exists. Deep class inequity exists. Oppression exists. These things are in front of us all, daily. How often do we attempt to educate ourselves about these things? How often do we try to see something through a stranger’s eyes?
In the ancient tales, divine beings would often come in the guise of the stranger, testing the bonds of hospitality and our ability to take in another, to feed them and offer them rest.
Are we willing to open the doors of our minds and hearts?
Shall we say, “I don’t know what your experience is, but I’m willing to try and learn”?
There are refugees, seeking asylum. There are families, weeping over death. There is a friend in need, and a stranger on the street in equal need. Can we open the doors of our minds and hearts? Can we envision a dream that includes love for all of this?
Can we feed one another, and offer refuge, even if only for the amount of time it takes to smile, or offer a kind word, or stand up for someone’s rights?
Justice is built, day by day, by each of our actions. Injustice is built the same way.
Which shall we choose today?
I shall keep attempting to choose for love.