Reflecting on the New Year
A year ago we started to hear rumblings about a new virus that was swiftly affecting people on the other side of the globe. Needless to say, since that time we have been through a lot. Our community has been assaulted by a pandemic, economic turmoil has caused the wealth gap in our community to grow exponentially, and a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice has been at the forefront of our thoughts. To top it all off, the unthinkable happened–an armed, bloody insurrection overtook the United States Capitol during a typically mundane election certification process.
I have continually found myself gobsmacked by the destabilization of American democracy, the continued cries of members of our community for justice and equity, and the careless disregard for public health in the midst of a worsening pandemic by many. And in the aftermath, I have found myself searching for a way to move forward, how to rebuild our sense of community and trust in one another.
Yesterday, I decided to pick up a book that I bought ages ago on a trip to Atlanta and a visit to Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home, Strength to Love. On the very first page of the Foreword, Coretta Scott King quotes her husband:
All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
In reflecting on this past year, this statement seems as true as ever. Any path forward will require us to strengthen our resolve to lift one another up.
As I kick off the new year, I am thinking about how to expand YLS’s capacity to provide you, our members, with opportunities to both become who you ought to be and help others become who they ought to be. I would love to hear from you how you would like to be supported in that endeavor!