And now the road approaches its reward – the completed destiny of the first child to graduate from college. The first child who will become not what they must be, but what they can dream of becoming – a teacher, an artist, a doctor – maybe the President of the United States. If this is a cliché, we need more clichés.
After a LADO dinner I’m farther than ever from understanding America’s anti-immigrant, anti-urban, anti-education anger. America needs these young men and women. We can’t afford for them not to realize their dreams – our dreams – the American Dream.
4. Make your own luck. No one could have predicted two game-changing gifts that came to Growth Through Learning, including a $1 million bequest that has essentially solved the problem of paying GTL’s current very lean overhead. But we could easily predict that they would never have come about without Roger’s persistent effort at steps 1, 2 and 3 above.
Rather than mourn, I want to celebrate the seven years that this improbable institution served its community so well.
” … Our only hope today lies in our ability to … go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism and militarism …” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What seems so far away and removed from our lives came to us up close Sunday when Congolese refugee Albert Mulenda Rajabu spoke about his experiences in the DRC at the Write-a-Thon for Human Rights sponsored by Group 49 of Amnesty International USA.
Mr. Rajabu, a former teacher, stoically shared his own story of surviving two civil wars despite arrest and jailing for his human rights work in the DRC. But he wept when he reported incidences of sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls. He shared with the room the following story of a survivor’s account of the sexual violence.
It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace… We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war.”
“Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together…
“A fair prosperity and a just society are within our vision and our grasp, and we do not have every answer. There are questions not yet asked, waiting for us in the recesses of the future, but of this much we can be certain because it is the lesson of all our history: Together a president and the people can make a difference. I have found that faith still alive wherever I have traveled across this land. So let us reject the counsel of retreat and the call to reaction. Let us go forward in the knowledge that history only helps those who help themselves.
“There will be setbacks and sacrifices in the years ahead but I am convinced that we as a people are ready to give something back to our country in return for all it has given to us.
“Let this be our commitment: Whatever sacrifices must be made will be shared and shared fairly. And let this be our confidence: At the end of our journey and always before us shines that ideal of liberty and justice for all.”
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention 1980
Words seem inadequate to express all that I am feeling today. But this one, Jubilation, comes closest. Def. Jubilation – “a feeling of extreme joy”, “full of high spirited delight”, “a joyful occasion to celebrate a special event.”
Congratulations, President Barack Obama. The hopes and dreams of the world’s people rest with you today and throughout your presidency. Courage. While there is much to do, there are many who are willing to help if asked.