Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lean on Me

If I see a dog at Moral Monday, there's a good chance I'm going to pet it. When I went to Charlotte for Moral Monday, I met the greatest Moral Monday dog of all time. His name was Henry, and all 132 pounds of him was supporting women's rights. He was wearing a sign that said "feminist in training" and was succeeding at that judging by how he brought smiles to men and women alike that day.

Henry is a rescue dog, just like my dog. Henry's mom says she doesn't know quite who rescued whom. I totally understand what she means. Today, I went to a rally in Greensboro to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It was all about rescuing each other. 

Very few people have a dream and all by themselves make it come true. The bigger your dream, the more help you might find yourself needing. I'm trying to make my dream of a better North Carolina come true, and I've had a lot of help. Young people were a part of Martin Luther King's dream and I think they should be part of North Carolina's dream too.

Young people were a part of Taking the Dream Home to Greensboro today. There were a lot of college students there. They are going to fight to rescue their polling places on campus from being closed. I know at least one 17 year old there pre-registered to vote today before the Sept. 1st deadline. The young people of North Carolina are going to keep carrying the dream forward.

It's wrong to ignore or dismiss the voices of young people when you're in government. If you want to shape the attitudes of young people, you have to speak to them, not against them. You've got to show that you truly are serving the people, all the people, by the way you treat the people.

Henry the Great Dane knew how to treat people. Even though he was of large size, his friendly demeanor quickly put you at ease around him. He was happy just to stand there next to people and lean on them once in awhile. I don't think he cared what someone's political opinions were before he decided whether or not to be nice to them. He didn't care about your race, age, or any of that. 

I believe that things are going to get better in North Carolina. I think we'll be closer to the dream in the future. When I think about the legacy passed on to my generation by the people who started with Martin Luther King's dream, I feel rescued. I feel like NC's young people aren't starting from scratch. We'll build our dream on a strong foundation because the nation's youth was included in it. Just like Henry, we'll lean on each other once in awhile.

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