The Women's March in San Francisco on Saturday was filled with inspiration, positivity, and of course, girl power. Almost everywhere I looked I saw hope for our future. I didn't even realize until viewing it with hindsight how my reserves of hope were running on fumes prior to the March. But I have to say that spending a day with human beings who were kind and spirited and actively embracing the notion that this country is for each of us, as equals, served to fill my heart with hope in a way that few things could right now. That, and messages from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday and day of remembrance is conveniently connected to the Women's March.
I couldn't help but think of him today and what he would have thought of the March and the significant struggles of the day. What words of wisdom and encouragement would he offer us? I didn't have to look far to find my answers (see below). Not so long ago, his words were so powerful and so meaningful that they led to great changes in our country. I found many of his words to be equally powerful and meaningful in the context of today's struggles surrounding racism, immigration, equality, truth, poverty, and justice. I, as many before me, found Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words to be full of hope. Hope that we might be able to find our way toward great change in this country. Hope that marching, resisting, and speaking out will matter. Hope that words with meaning will overcome words without, that words of truth will overcome words of lies, that words of kindness and love will overcome words of hate.
So it is my (short-term) dream that you refill your own reserves of hope through these shared words and photos and that you then use that hope to continue the fight for justice and equality, to march in the streets, and to use your voice in whatever way you can.
“Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from speech before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from Strength to Love, 1963
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from Oberlin College Commencement speech, 1965