Oh how those words, spoken 50 years ago today — August 28, 1963 — have inspired us! The wisdom and passion with which they were spoken!
Through all of it, however, most of us remain troubled. Are we any closer to that dream? Have each of us done our best, in our lives and in our own ways, to help make that dream a reality?
One thing I know, both from my heart and professional training, is that the Dalai Lama’s message about focusing on the oneness of humanity is based upon a deep recognition of and respect for diversity. Those who know the oneness also respect individual and cultural differences.
I say this because it’s too easy to fall into the superficial “feel good”-ness of “it’s a small world.” Common goals, shared dreams, are necessary to tie us together. And our distinct gifts are necessary to implement those dreams. It’s a converge-diverge dynamic, a yin-yang, in which both commonality and diversity are needed.
Today, let us renew our quest. Inclusion, the oneness of humanity, is not the polar opposite of diversity, as too many believe. A oneness of humanity must be accompanied by a respect for diversity; the two go together hand in glove.
Thank you all, today and always, for being part of our community, for helping us all achieve the dream that justice will roll down like water upon us! That we all will be free at last!
If you haven’t yet rewatched the famous speech, here it is. Sit down, enjoy, and refocus.