Less than six months before I was born, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963, and delivered one of the most famous speeches of all time.
Many know the “I have a dream…” portion of his speech, but that was the finale. Long before that, King spoke of 100 years of segregation and discrimination that had continued after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by “the great American” in whose symbolic shadow they then stood. King spoke of demanding the “riches of freedom and security of justice.” He dismissed gradualism and called for urgency in rising from the darkness into the “sunlit path of racial justice.” He condemned hatred and bitterness, and he praised dignity and discipline. And he called for unity.
In speaking of white people, many of whom were present that day, he said, “their destiny is tied up with our destiny…their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.”
The question is how do we create unity in diversity? Unity is not sameness. If you listen to music, you have heard unity. In a band, orchestra, or choir, there are many instruments or voices, and they are not the same. Each has a part to play, and the parts are not the same. However, when all the voices are in agreement as to what they are to play—a common goal or mission—and they each play or sing their part correctly and in time, the result is magnificent!
It is very challenging to create a common goal in a world of ego, competition, and diversity. It is challenging—but not impossible. When unity is achieved, there is great power and strength. When unity is achieved, there is beauty and harmony and peace.
I don’t know if we will achieve unity in the world. I am unsure about unity even in our nation. It might be possible to some degree in our state or city if we want it enough and are willing to work hard enough.
However, I am certain we can maintain and increase unity in the Kimray community. I say “maintain” because I believe we already have it and “increase” because we can always improve it.
We have unity because we have a common goal and common values. We have unity—not sameness. We don’t want sameness. We want diversity. We want diversity of ideas and backgrounds and viewpoints. We want diversity of skills and capabilities and experiences. We want diversity of people. And we want unity. Each of us doing our part to create the common goal.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was right; our destinies are tied together. We are bound to one another in this game of life. I am glad I have the privilege to do life with each of you. Together we are strong and beautiful.
That is The Kimray Way.