A Dream 50 Years Later

This past week we had the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous speeches in American history. It wasn’t covered live on TV as it was given, but over time, it has grown to an epic statement of where we wish our country to be in terms of race relations.  It’s grown so much racial import in many peoples’ eyes, they forget he spoke of income and jobs topics about which we have yet to reach consensus.  When I think of King’s Dream speech, I am reminded of the Gallup poll at the time saying only a third of American’s supported him and his ideas.  Then I think of a quote from Andrew Bridge in Hope’s Boy,
“Some people are born for battles.  Their bravery endures, regardless of frailty or strength.  They are the ones we look to and our admiring hearts tell us, “They’ll know what to do.”  They are the great winners and losers of history.  We remember them less for their outcomes than for their glorious acts.  And, with the gentle wash of time, they become our heroes.”

Who denies MLK hero status today?

As we hit the 50 years mark since the speech, I remember this time while longer than my life, is but a blip in humanity’s quest for fairness.  Then I realize if we arrived, we would no longer care, for we would take it for granted.  It is a little ironic that if we reach the goal, we will no longer attempt to recognize and make up for past misdeeds. Doing so puts us back on uneven ground as we try to make amends.  Think of all the white men who think minority poor are better off than the white poor.  To arrive at the goal of fair equality could only happen by starting over. 

If we ever find ourselves (back) in a spot where there is no improvement to be made, I submit maintaining the status quo will require us to lose what it is to be human, to strive to make better the realities in which we live.  At least these thoughts seem to be the epitome of what it is to be American.  I suspect if we ever go back, somebody will still bite the apple in an effort to find a “better.” 
After all, what’s more American than apple pie?
(continue to next page for two random thoughts)

 I saw a post from Montel Williams this week asking what “Living well” means.  Since I spend a lot of my life looking for the answer, I gave the closest answer I’ve come up with thus far.

Living well is learning to recognize the gifts we receive and give, followed by thinking how to best enjoy them.  

Living well is learning to love learning and then figuring out a way to pass along both the love and the knowledge.

Living well is recognizing the love we give and receive. 

Living well is valuing both. 

A very cool thing happened recently.  I was asked by Patientslikeme. com to go downtown so I can represent the patients’ perspective on a panel at the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education.  The conference is being put together by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

I’m excited.  Looking at some of the people and their positions, I want to go just to hear what they say.  I’m fascinated.