Newsletter: Ready to Work

by Sharon Gavin

“I will go out and carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Are you tired of it by now? Tired of reading about what a terrible year 2009 was? About how nothing good happened and how many people are just giving up?

Well, in the tradition of good marketing, we’re going to make our “ask” early here: Don’t give up; give back.

Why? Because it is only through our hope, and our work, and our perseverance that we will create the schools, the environment, the neighborhoods, the world we want to see.

In 1955, blacks in Montgomery, Alabama, joined together to challenge and change the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system. Lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted over a year; during this time King was arrested and jailed, boycotters were physically attacked, homes and churches were firebombed. But in the end the hope, work, and perseverance of the boycotters resulted in the Supreme Court’s decision that the laws requiring segregated buses were unconstitutional, and spurred the national Civil Right Movement.

Are you ready and willing to help carve a tunnel of hope? On January 18, our nation will celebrate Dr. King with a National Day of Service and Learning. You can start carving by planning a project for your family or neighborhood, joining a project, or reflecting on the principles of nonviolent action as a strategy for bringing about stronger communities.

During his campaign, President Obama remarked that some people "speak almost scornfully about this idea of hope…They imply that hope means you're naive or passive or you can't fight." It doesn’t. Hope leads to action; and it is our actions that will, as Dr. King said, “transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows."

Posted on January 7, 2010 in Volunteering, Civic Engagement.