Saturday, September 14, 2013

what will it cost if I don't

I was at a recent Ed Sessions lunch where the speaker was Colorado Senator Mike Johnston. I was instantly inspired by Senator Johnston's historic education reform efforts in the state of Colorado, Amendment 66. He spoke passionately about what it takes to get meaningful education reform accomplished. 

Education reform is no easy task. It's an uphill battle; one that has been two years in the making for Senator Johnston's amendment.

He ended his talk with a glimpse into what keeps him going; what inspires him. He says he keeps a copy of A Testament Of Hope on his desk (The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.).

He referenced Dr. King's last sermon in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, I See The Promised Land. Dr. King had been warned not to return to Memphis. He had sent his good friend Ralph Abernathy to speak for him as he wasn't feeling well. After Mr. Abernathy spoke, the crowd wouldn't leave. They continued to wait for Dr. King. Ralph had to call Dr. King to come down to the Church of God in Christ to appease the crowd.

Dr. King arrived and spoke to the crowd with no notes and no preparation. He spoke of his trip to Jerusalem and his travel along the road to Jericho.
And you know, its possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed that question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
To paraphrase Senator Mike Johnston's call to action...
That's the question before all of us. Not, "If I stop to help education reform, what will it cost me?" But, "If I don't stop to help education reform, what will it cost the children in my state." 

So, now on my desk is a copy of A Testament Of Hope.

And I am hoping that Dr. King will continue to inspire me to "ask better questions". 

1 comment: