A day of reflection and celebration

Today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US, a day to celebrate the life of a great American, a leader who spoke truth and inspired people of all races and backgrounds to come together for change and hope. Here in Florida, as in so many other locales, the struggle for justice continues on 90 years after Dr. King's birth. Just this past year Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to restore rights to convicted felons who'd finished their time and were regular citizens, but still couldn't vote--a carry-over from Jim Crow days.  It's estimated four million voters, many of whom are black, had their rights restored.

It's also Tu B'Shevat, the "New Year of the Trees" in the Jewish Calendar.  It's a celebration of nature's renewal in the Northern hemisphere and I feel it in North Florida far more than I would buried beneath snow and ice up north.

When I look around my community today and I see people coming together in a day of service and helping others, it renews my soul, just as seeing my trees budding forth and producing fruit reminds me that even in dark times we have a future.

Dr. King said, "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve...You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love." Let this day be a reminder that we can all blossom and carry forward the fruit of our labors and the joy of serving others to help them achieve their own fruitfulness.


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