Legacy 1Chuck Walker, Jr., former member of the Sharon MLK Committee, asked the question of Wednesday night’s panel, “What does Dr. King’s legacy mean to you (in one word)?” For me, the word I would use is “unity.” His legacy of unity made it possible for organizations such as the Sharon Pluralism Network to inspire people of all cultures to not simply coexist but to collaborate on activities for the common good. His legacy made it possible for young people to connect through events such as the Teenage Identity and Diversity Education (TIDE) sponsored by YouthLEAD — an organization dedicated to youth leadership and community-building programs. Without Dr. King’s legacy of passion for justice, young and old alike today might not be so inclined to value the power of living, working, and participating in life together.

My own life experience has been greatly enhanced by connecting with and staying connected to a spiritual community whose doctrine is love, truth, and service. I feel like it was only a matter of time before I shifted my own paradigm so as to become more involved in community. There may be days when I don’t feel close to a promised land; but, I do recognize that it is up to me to light the flame of involvement and participation in the community.

Legacy2Seeing young people of diverse cultures up on the panel surely would have made Dr. King proud. Speaking with them after the talk ended gave me the sense that they do appreciate the opportunity they have to actively participate in a world that values justice. In the years since his passing, I would like to think that generations of Americans have the capacity to expand their respective comfort zones and will increasingly do so — in their own shoes. Dr. King has already done the marching toward that promise.