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Change will be the result of an open mind

“…And so, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream…”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We shall overcome, but we’re not there yet. A change has come, but it has only begun.

It will continue with each of us perpetuating the steps of engagement that have brought us to this point. It will continue only as we perpetuate the language of unity and of mutual respect.

Change will be the result of a small town of likeminded folks opening their minds to a larger world of diverse perspectives. The change we seek is not about everyone agreeing with one another, rather, it is about everyone being able to respectfully and mindfully listen to one another.

Change will be the result of a people holding one another accountable for acts and comments of bigotry and hatred.

Change will be the result of self-evaluations that are our mirrors and of deep convictions that are our inner law. Except we take a critical look at ourselves and put under arrest those contaminated set of ideals that have poisoned generations and handicapped progress, we are certain to digress from our path of change.

Change will be the result of a people refusing to make excuses about the limitations placed upon them and deciding to violate the expectations of those who wish to object to this new era.

We will continue on our path of change only through vigilance and determination.That is, being watchful for signs of our own fears and feelings of inferiority that would cause us to be paralyzed to doing better and silent to lingering injustices.

We will continue on our path of change if when one of us gets further ahead, we reach back and help guide the steps of another. Except we understand and build relationships and foster a sense of community, the potential of what we could be will remain in question.

Change will be the result of parents having a new kind of conversation with their children; one that doesn’t end with “because I said so.” The next great minds of our time must be allowed to ask questions. This is one way that children learn how to be critical thinkers. This is one way that they learn that their voices matter.

Change will be the result of young people who choose some form of education, whether formal or informal, to positively affect the trajectory of their lives. Except knowledge that empowers be what drives our youth, our road to continued change will be blocked.

We shall overcome, but we’re not there yet. A change has come, but it has only begun.

Change will not carry itself. We must do that and we have much to do. I am encouraged though because as I think about all those who have carried the mantle before now, I am confident that we as a people are ready for the exchange.

We are on the right path, but it is up to us to stay there.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle…”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be encouraged.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.