Monday, January 18, 2016

A Trilogy of Hope for the Future

Today we celebrate the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.  At a time when those born with darker skin pigments were routinely treated as inferior, even in America, the land of the free and the bastion of democracy, King worked tirelessly to promote peaceful resistance to the idea that those who had seemingly lost the birth lottery of skin color, should be destined for a life time of substandard education, judicial bias towards incarceration, and limited opportunity for economic success. 

He envisioned a time when men "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character".   Despite the horrors of the Jim Crowe years, whites only public rest rooms and water fountains, and the random killings of black men, women and children, in church basements, private homes and public streets, King emphasized that equality could only be attained through peaceful means.  An eye for an eye philosophy of the Old Testament had to be replaced by the turn the other cheek message of Jesus and the New Testament.

Partly in honor of this great man, partly as a response to those who only see danger and evil in the world today, and partly because I truly believe that violence begets violence, and that only the power of Love can make the world as King wished it to be, I published a trilogy on Amazon for Kindle in the past week.  A Trilogy of Hope for the Future is three short stories written to describe a time when men not only judge others by their character, but when society rewards those who live to help others, while discouraging selfishness and greed.  It is a future which is created, building block by building block, by each succeeding generation, a future which began when men first formed communities, and created laws to protect the weak from the strong, and will culminate in the acknowledgement that we are one race, the human race.

King died in 1968, murdered for his dream of a truly integrated America.  I imagine that he would be proud of the progress made in just 40 years with the election of Barack Obama, but also disappointed that there is still much to be done to improve education and economic opportunities in minority communities, while decreasing incarceration rates for black males. 

But that is the point, the cup half empty or half full philosophical line that we all must recognize, and then decide which side we choose to be on.  A half empty perspective points to the continued discrimination by which police use deadly force, and uses these misdeeds to justify rioting and looting.  A half full perspective recognizes that these acts are now condemned by general society, in stark contrast to the routine nature that killings of this kind were considered in the past. 

It is by imagining the progress we could make in the next 40 more years, if we maintain a half full viewpoint, that inspires A Trilogy of Hope for the Future. 

To quote another dreamer, John Lennon

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

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