“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I couldn’t let this week go by without taking the time to reflect on three events I witnessed that really stuck to me. It always seems like the week’s minor irritations overshadow small acts of kindness and sweet moments that are happening around us all the time. These are the three that stood out to me the most.
There were lots of images from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication that have special meaning. Obama’s stirring speech that left him near tears, Aretha Franklin’s hilarious, “May we have the track please?” And watching MLK’s oldest and only surviving sister speak about her brother’s genius and sweet spirit. The image above is from the Huffington Post‘s coverage. I love it because the woman’s t-shirt reminds me of Tati. I refer to Tati often in my blog, because she is someone who leaves me in awe with her presence, strength, and stories. She wears two buttons she bought in Harlem on her jacket of her two favorite men– Michael Jackson and Barack Obama. Tati lived through the Civil Rights Movement, and heard MLK speak live. An African-American registered nurse with degrees from both Hunter College and NYU was unheard of in the 60s, but Tati defied all the odds with grace and dignity. While watching the memorial, I couldn’t help but think of her, as she’s lived in a world where such freedoms I’ve always known, were simply dreams. And thanks to her courage, she witnessed them flourish.
The second moment of the week I loved happened on a city bus. It’s a two-fold moment really. As an elderly woman struggled to enter the bus with her walker, the bus driver extended his arm and lifted her walker, so that she could enter the bus safely. Soon after, I realized that when every elderly person got on the bus, he would patiently wait for them to pay their fare, and only proceeded when they were seated. He showed such compassion and care, that I wanted to show the same to someone throughout the day, just to keep it going. It’s one of the reasons I love this city. You can always find a hero in an unlikely place.
The third moment happened on that same bus. The elderly woman with the walker, sat across from me and another man, also with a walker in hand. Her eyes dropped to his walker, and I noticed that she was totally checking it out. She checked out the wheels since she didn’t have any on hers. She eyed it just like I would someone’s cool sneakers or haircut.
I’m always fascinated by older people. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love their stories and I admire their paths. When it comes down to it, what might matter to us most will be a hand to lift us up, and a good sturdy walker to keep us going on our journey.