Words That Changed the World

When I really started to understand what had gone on 30 years before me - during the 50's and 60's and how divided the country was about the color of someone's skin - was in high school. Racism was a little confusing to suburban GenXer's who never experienced that America. Today, America is better because a new generation, a generation that grew up believing in equal opportunities, is now taking up leadership positions around the country. I grew up with kids from all over the world. Different race, ethnicity, and from many different countries. How could I think that I was any better than the kid sitting next to me who went to the same school, lived in the same neighborhood, and and drank from the same water fountain? Unfortunately, this was not the experience of my parents or their parents. They lived in a world where if you were black you had to sit in a certain place on the bus, go to a different school, live in a different neighborhood ... drink from a different water fountain. We recognize the utter stupidity of this now.

Though racism is far from eradicated in America, it is diminished with each new generation. Protectionism of the past always fails. America is changing now just as it always has. I can only hope that my generation or my children's generation produces leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. People that can put obvious truths into words and give a voice to the oppressed. MLK was no saint, but he did ignite a furious fire of change in an entire country. Those moments in world history when a true world-historical figure steps up is rare. King was one of these individuals. It wasn't because what he was saying was so radical that people were angry - it was because it was true. Violent opposition is always waged against that which is eternally true. Not because we disagree but because we are ashamed that we have lived our life based on something we knew, deep down, to be untrue.

This week, CNN had access to "handwritten sermons from historic days. Pencil edits of statements from jail. A worn scrap of paper found the day he died. CNN was granted exclusive access to these and thousands of other documents from the papers of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The collection helps explore his philosophy, goals and even his fears." I encourage you to find out more...

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