An eye on the past, looking towards the future.

I sometimes try to imagine myself at 80ish talking about being born in the 1900s.  My children may or may not think it of note that I graduated high school in the year 2000, and I have to swallow deeply when I say that Asher will be graduating college (theoretically) in 2031.  A lot of very smart adults in my life told me that having a child would certainly make me more aware of the breadth of the future, but it has also heightened my sense of the past too.  Thinking today of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his big dreams makes me think of my Grandmother looking at my newly born mother in 19– and wondering if she hoped for or could even imagine the boldness of the world that her daughter would grow up in.  Since my mother’s birth, large strides have certainly been made for the equality of all, starting with shared seats on a bus and arriving most notably with the first African American president.  I’d like to think that this is something that my grandmother hoped for as she looked into the faces of her children, but don’t really know for sure.  What I do know is that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the work of all of the activists, politicians, soldiers, teachers, parents and all other brave souls that worked to make most of Dr King’s dream a reality.  The work that I see facing the future that I dream of for my child is that he continues to grow up in an America that is not racially divided, where he is free to love and marry whomever he may deem worthy, where our cultural diversity is celebrated and not exploited, and where we continue to keep an eye on the sometimes painful and deeply motivational lessons of the past.  I sometimes roll my eyes at hearing some of my parents stories for the thousandth time, but I am reminded all too clearly today that almost all of the freedoms that I enjoy and often take for granted are still fresh in the minds and hearts of those who lived without them.  It is my personal belief that the drive for justice is fueled by love, and I hope that as we get to witness our children growing in this world, we see more of that than anything.