Monday, January 20, 2014

Moving Forward

"We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, 
we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back." 

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream."
-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, as I appreciate the beautiful life of Rev. Martin Luther King, I am confronted with the beauty, also, of his death. Not of the actual act of dying, but of the way that he continues to live, even though he is not here. He lived with such purpose, and left such an impact, that his spirit will live forever.

This is something I never realized before losing David: when a person dies, no matter the length of their life, they continue to live on. Their ideas, actions, and dreams are alive in those who loved them. Their spirit lives on in their memory. 

Today, I feel pushed to find deeper meaning in my own life and I am more inspired to learn from those who have gone before me. On this "Make a Difference Day," I reflect on what making a difference means to me. I see making a difference as the smallest and biggest of things, an attainable action that can be taken as far as you are willing to take it. It could be one action or it could be multiple interactions. Today I am reminded of the importance of one day and I am reminded of the importance of one life. I am further encouraged to do something meaningful with the time that I have.

-I strive to better appreciate my situation: my family, friends, education, work, and opportunities.
-I want to live with more respect for my friends and enemies, my neighbors and strangers. I will respect them because they are being, just as I am being.
-I want to better love: speak with love, act with love, and believe in love. Trust love as the means to its own end. By loving, we become love, and there's nothing I'd rather be.
-I want to seek truth in all I do. I will strive to better understand. 

I don't know exactly what my mission is and I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to do, or how I'm supposed to do it. What I do know, is that I am here to do something. I'm here to do what I'm already doing, and I'm called to do it better. We are all called to do more.

At yesterday's mass honoring Rev. King, the words below were sung:

For everyone born, a place at the table,
For everyone born, clean water and bread,
A shelter, a space, a safe place for growing, 
For everyone born, a star overhead

For woman and man, a place at the table, 
Revising the roles, deciding the share, 
With wisdom and grace, dividing the power, 
For woman and man, a system that's fair

For young and for old, a place at the table, 
A voice to be heard, a part in the song, 
The hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled, 
For young and for old, the right to belong

For just and unjust, a place at the table, 
Abuser, abused, with need to forgive, 
In anger, in hurt, a mindset of mercy, 
For just and unjust, a new way to live

For everyone born, a place at the table, 
To live without fear, and simply to be, 
To work, to speak out, to witness and worship, 
For everyone born, the right to be free

"With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day." -MLK

What a beautiful dream for today, and all days.

I don't know where I'm going, but I know that I am going to keep striving, seeking, and loving. It's the best and least I can do. In Rev. King's words: "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” 

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