#MondayThoughts: Let’s Monday up this joint or the Legacy of Dr. King

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And by joint I mean slang from early last century, not the marijuana kind, even though that would be perfectly legal here in Illinois. Not my thing but you do you. With the blessing of the Illinois state legislature.

Well, that’s a tangent I didn’t expect to take this morning. No, here on this particular Monday, on this day of remembering the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. I am raring to go.

Because here’s the thing. When he started, he had so much further to go than we have to go. When he started, the people before him had even further to go. And the people before that came here in chains, against their will, eventually to be decreed 3/5ths of a person.

Just think about that.

But here we are in a future full of robots who can vacuum your floor and cars wanting to drive themselves and more information within our grasp than any human could conceive. We can speak and be heard.

Dr. King’s legacy isn’t just the remarkable things he did. His legacy lies in what he showed us we could do.

And with that thought, I feel renewed to face the wilds ahead. These are tough times, but there have been tough times before. Oppression’s win is in our resignation to it.

We will not be resigned.

Don’t Ever Doubt the Power of Words

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As writers, words are our tools, words are our materials, words are our product. Words can feel impermanent, nebulous. But don’t be fooled, not for a moment.

Words can change the world.

Words have changed the world. Words can be strung together in ways that ring throughout time, throughout history, until the words themselves become the history. Words can breathe life into a possible future far from the present in which they were spoken.

Words can tell us of a dream.

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose beautifully shaped words changed people’s idea of what was possible. Thanks to this man and his words, my life is  a wonderfully colorful place where I can connect with other people without a thought to skin color or religion or any of the other categories that are used to divide us.

Through a speech that lives on and on, he painted a picture of this future, which formed my current reality. Now is very different from then. That is what words can do.