“A Single Garment of Destiny”

Drawn by Heather Williams
Drawn by Heather Williams

Today I am reminded of so many efforts to bring nonviolent, peaceful forces to bear on social problems that persist in our society. Yesterday I listened to an interview with John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader, Pastor, and humanitarian. It’s well worth listening to. The one phrase, the one central idea gleaned from the interview is this:

“It’s already here…the Beloved Community…it’s already here. Our job is to make it real, today, one step at a time.”

Lewis reminded me that its not about me, us, our time; big social change is coming but it might not be in my lifetime or yours. But the truth is the existence of the Beloved Community is in our present, everyday action. We are bringing it into reality, little bit by little bit. I found this reminder a salve for the wounds of one long in the struggle for the rights of people and also the rights of wildlife and land and water and air. The latter is coming, according to Reverend Lewis. So be it. I can be content with that knowledge.

Seth Godin republished A Letter from a Birmingham Jail this morning for which I am grateful. Its worth a quiet rereading. But here, in short is King’s answer to the question about why he was in Birmingham:

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

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