This is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and on a week in mid-January when we can use some motivational dreams to guide us into a better future, I could not imagine any quote I love more to combine these thoughts about dreams for the future.
IMAGE: Many thanks to LoveOfLifeQuotes, viaAddicted2Success’s “88 Iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes,” for this quote image. And many thanks to Dr. King for an enduring aspiration! Side note from the artist in me: After my Kwanzaa quote-searches and now this one, I really want to know how it is that so many quotes by African Americans are rendered in black-and-white. What is up with that? Don’t the folks who create quote images think persons of color are colorful??
In keeping with this month’s theme of working toward a better future, my Images of Interest for the rest of the month will feature amazing places in the United States that are threatened or actively under attack. As long as they continue to exist, we can still fight to save them, even if things are looking bad at the moment.
My theme this month is “working toward a better future.” That probably is a pretty common and predictable topic at the turn of the year, when it seems as if we have a new chance to “get things right.”
NOTE: everyday actually is a new chance. Every hour. But many of us do tend to think about it more around New Year’s.
How “right” we can get things depends in part on the cards in our hand, however. Last year at this point, for instance, certain decisions already had been made. Votes had been cast, and irrevocable changes set in motion. We dodged a few bullets in 2017, but some dies already had been cast by this time last year. In this context, I’ve been thinking about a pair of “takes” on current events, by two commentators whom I respect.
He goes on to lay out the argument that we’ve come to a place in the public discourse where “anger, coarseness, political destabilization, and a trickle-down nastiness [is] visible both in anecdotes and in hate-crime statistics.”
But he doesn’t leave it there. He’s one of my favorite columnists because he always takes it to the next step. He ended his column, not with a groan of despair but with a call to action: “civil society is not something you take for granted. It’s a choice you make, a thing you have to fight for. Which will be a fitting mission for 2018 and beyond.”
Even if some things look bleak as we move into 2018 and beyond, let us “maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights.” Let us all affirm together we “know that a new day is on the horizon,”because we are working to make it so.
Let us never lose hope, and never allow our weariness to keep us from continuing to fight for “the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again,” and we live in a civil society where the dignity and value of all persons are respected, basic human rights are demanded for all, and where we cherish the well-being of this fragile globe that we call home. It’s only too late if we give up on the values we hold most dear.
My normal theme for January’s quotes is “improving the future”–and this year I found so many I like, I’ve teamed some of them up! Today I’d like to share a pair of thoughts about lessons learned and creative challenges accepted.
IMAGES: Both of these come from a great list on QuotesHunter, “20 Inspiring Quotes about the Future.”Many thanks!
Santa Rosa, CA, Oct. 9, 2017: Photo by Gabrielle Lurie/San Francisco Chronicle/Polaris via ABC News.
But individuals are not always able to control their surroundings completely enough to take all those steps. Where are your 30- and 100-foot “zones of defensibility” when you live in an apartment building like the one in the photo above, or a densely-spaced neighborhood like the one in the photo below?
With apologies, I grabbed a screen-capture because I wanted to show the contrast in what had originally been published as an interactive graphic from ABC News. To see the original, please go to the article. Keep scrolling!
Remember, the residents of this community sought out housing they could afford, in an attractive neighborhood that had been safe for years. Here is a mind-blowing, in-depth report by ABC’s Matt Guttman. He talks about the speed with which the fires advanced. He also gives some background on the neighborhood and the people who lived there.
We can’t do much about some of the risks and hazards that surround us every day–but there are other things we can do, from building wisely for the kinds of environmental hazards our area faces (more on that in future posts) to speaking out and working for a cleaner, safer world where every person, no matter how troubled or disadvantaged, is seen as a being of infinite worth.