Jan. 15 was the birthday of the late Martin Luther King Jr. who should always be remembered as the leader of the American civil rights movement. I wonder after all his tireless endeavors how he would feel about the continuing disparities in 2022. Would he be saddened that inequalities still exist?

Scripture conveys that every human is the same before God and that God wants us to have a heart with equality in it. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to ensure that the law applies the same to all people. King said an individual should be judged on the basis of his character and not on the color of their skin. No one can rise above their situation if they are persecuted from the get go. Martin Luther King Jr. stated “equality means dignity and dignity demands a job and a paycheck that lasts one through the week.”

For me if one looks around one should realize that that equality is still not at a level at what it should be.

Proverbs 22:2 says “The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.”

Do all have equal access to housing, employment, educational opportunities, access to the health care that everyone needs? I think not and that makes me so sad and wanting to advocate for all.

“I have a dream that one day the nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed,” King said. “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”

Would it not be truly wonderful if this were true. Another quote of Martin Luther King J.r I try to live by is “Make a career of humanity commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a free world to live in.” We collectively must strive to be an equal society.

Another interesting quote is from poet C. Joybell C. who wrote, “We are all equal in fact that we are all different.”

Francis Wright said, “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is in fact no liberty without it.” What about trying to figure out equality issues locally by getting involved with what the Human Rights Commission is concerned about or the impact that the Communities of Shalom of Marion County is making or what the Greater Fairmont Council of Churches is involved with.

Actively being involved with organizations like the Soup Opera, Connecting Link or Friendship Fairmont, or CASA are ways that one can also possibly make a difference. Does one also connect with state and federal legislators to let them know one’s equality issues???

Malala Yousafaz said, “I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right to live in peace... their right to be treated with dignity...their right to equality of opportunity,” these are mottos I personally try to achieve.

So do your best to promote equality and live by it. Equality begins with me as it does with you.

Cathy Reed

President, Greater Fairmont Council of Churches

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