On this MLK day I want to share with you all a quote that helped me in my defining journey while in college at Fairhaven College. My instructor used this MLK quote to inspire us and keep us thinking about our communities and social justice work.
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice….” Martin Luther King
So on this day of remembrance I want to know what is your vision of justice? What would be a beneficial society that you want to be a citizen of? How, when all else is uncertain in the age we live do we know what justice is? I think about this and have to say the answer lays in the beginning of the quote…moral. I have thought about this so many times but in a different context. What is my moral compass? How has my moral compass guided me to where I am now and where will it take me? I only put this out there for you all to read because on this day many people pay homage to a man who helped define a movement that was all about social justice and human rights and I want to say, it is not over.
In a day and age when we have built super highways and use technology to expand our lives and connection to each other, we are still far behind when it comes to social justice and human rights. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think about how far we still have to go and how many people are in some way making it seemingly impossible to have simple human rights. When I say this I think of several rights groups that are being impacted by political ideology and rhetoric. I think of same sex marriage and the rights of people who identify as gay or transgender. I think about the rights of people who sit in prisons and holding cells because they dare to wish for an American dream and the one thing is that they were born south of the an invisible line. I think about people who have been exploited for the gain of capitalism and a small profit margin.
I know that my thoughts and theories are not the same as other people’s and that is fine but what is so important to me is that we remember that we are all human. At the end of the day we all desire similar things, to sleep, to eat, to be loved and to love; we are not so different and that is when I wish that we would all work toward bending the arc of the universe toward justice. It pains my heart to think that people are suffering because of an ideological difference, whether societal or religious. Why can we not pray in our own way, in our own languages, with our hopes and dreams being ours and respected by those around us. We are all human and it was only 60 years ago that the color of your skin was reason for sitting separately, learning separately and being treated as though you were less than. Dr. King and many other amazing activist were committed to equality and we should continue this social justice journey to see it through. We can overcome any injustices when we look at ways to make our communities better, for everyone, not just a specific few.
So dear reader, bend the moral arc toward justice, remember that what we do reflects who we are and that your small acts of kindness can change a life.