Education is Hope
Today is set aside to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). This day is to commemorate the life and legacy of a man who changed this country for the better. A man who, in the face of great adversity, taught our nation that we had yet to live up to the true meaning of the very principles on which our country was founded. A man who demonstrated for the world the great power of peaceful protest. A man that loved and believed and served.
Despite our progress, if Dr. King were here today, he would remind us that there’s still much work to be done. He would urge us to work harder to ease discord and to fight injustice in our communities. He would lead us to bring an end to the culture of violence tearing communities apart across not just our nation, but our globe. He would urge us to not procrastinate; to not hope someone else will solve our problems; to not bury our heads in the sand. He would demand that we take action.
So we must ask ourselves today, right now, what action should we take? How can we reject despair and turn to hope? How can we make Dr. King’s calls for justice, equality and opportunity be a reality for all our people? In my mind, there is one thing that has great potential to do all that and more: the institution of public education. That’s right, public education is the entity that has the horsepower to make a difference. Public education is a synonym for hope. Only by educating our citizens can there be any hope to face our nation’s challenges to ensure civil rights for all.
MLK left our world a better place, albeit not a perfect place. Even after all these years, we seek to fulfill his dream where all people are respected regardless of skin color, wealth, gender, abilities or disabilities, and any other characteristics that make us individuals. Freedom and respect for all. As a nation, we have work yet to do. As individuals, we must face our biases. As educators, we must model and teach these important principles to future generations. Thank you for sharing Dr. King’s messages this week, next week and every day of the year. Thank you for being a part of the one entity that provides the hope that change will happen.
Take care. Be safe. Stay well.
(This is article is a slightly modified version of a previously published article in Newsbits on January 16, 2017.)