It was ten years ago that my children and I began participating in the local services honoring the late Martin Luther King Jr. Every year since then, I walk away with something new ~ a deeper appreciation for the beautiful voices in the choir, a brighter hope for our city and county, a renewed faith that God will help us overcome our challenges, a better sense of community, and an improved understanding of how far our country has come since Dr. King fought for freedom and unity.
However, I don't believe we have yet accomplished what he envisioned when delivering his memorable 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech. He dreamed that "in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty."
Unfortunately, prosecutors and law enforcement officers are exposed to many people who focus more on their personal instant gratification or revenge than those shining examples of love and brotherhood. Especially today, people who are sworn to protect and serve are all too often the ones who meet with the most hatred. In 1967, Dr. King stated, "The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve." I am often discouraged by the inability of many to handle situations as mature adults.
But, today ... I heard a sermon worthy of Dr. King himself! And, it wasn't by a seasoned minister or doctor of theology. This sermon was delivered by a young man, a classmate of my daughter, a junior in high school ... and he had everyone on their feet believing in the dream that with faith (and action) we can achieve ANYTHING!
My take-away today was that Donavan Pinner, along with the many other energized and good kids who participated, set the perfect example of why we should have faith in our young people and in our community. We cannot let hate and other evils destroy our children, our faith or the dream that we can be a city, a county, a state or a country of brothers and sisters that take care of each other, instead of bringing others down.
I have a dream ... that our children will be encouraged to DO better and BE better than we have been in the past. I dream that parents will teach their children not to be afraid of the police, but to trust them, and to do right so they don't ever have to be caught in a bad situation. We must teach them right from wrong and watch them blossom.