Today, on Martin Luther King Day, we mark the colossal contribution of one man who continues to galvanize millions with his dream. When “white people only” signs barred black folks from water fountains, restaurants, and bus seats and when physical violence easily erupted, Dr King had the courage to dream of a society that lived up to its ideal of equality. In his dream, freedom, justice, and peace reign because people are judged not by the color of their skin but “by the content of their character.” This dream – and the belief in a Higher Power – gave him the courage to continue spreading his message, despite death threats.
How is Rev. Martin Luther King’s dream relevant today? I believe its significance has grown and expanded with the ubiquitous connectivity of our 21 century. As technology connects us faster, easier and deeper across the globe, our differences multiply. Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists; men, women and transgender; hetero and homosexual; babyboomers and generation X; meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, raw vegans, and paleo – at work, in our clubs and organizations, or at home we rub shoulders with others different from us on a daily basis
The question of how we interact with people unlike us – daily – becomes pivotal for everyone of us, not just leaders. Do we fence them out, distrustful of their clothes, names, actions and motivations? Or do we stay open knowing “their destiny is bound to our destiny”? How do we resolve our differences – do we try to impose our will on them or seek to collaborate with them?
Today I start this blog on holistic communication to commemorate Dr King weekly by exploring how we can interact in a way that builds bridges not walls, that connects us to our shared needs and desires underneath our differences, that creates deep understanding, connectedness, joy and extraordinary achievement. I also hope to join with others who want to make the world a better place with every word we utter. If together we make a little ripple of peace and understanding in our global pond, the effort is worth it.