To the Editor,

I have always been a big fan of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a child of the 50’s and 60’s, I had a front-row seat watching the civil rights movement.

Dr. King, like all of us, was a flawed individual, but his greatness far outshone any flaw he had.

This man preached civility and peaceful protesting. I don’t recall cars ever being set on fire or property being destroyed at his protests. He went to jail on more than one occasion but he stood fast in his resolve to achieve his goal of civil rights for black Americans.

His “I Have a Dream” speech, in my humble opinion, ranks right up there with President Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” I have read the words to each on many occasions and I think there is much we all can learn from these great speeches.

When I say I have a dream similar to Dr. King, I am certainly not putting myself on the same level as this great man. The greatness this man achieved during his lifetime is phenomenal. I will never be able to hold a candle to his achievements.

My dream is very simple—follow the Golden Rule, Do Unto Others AS You Would Have Them Do Unto you. Putting it in easy to understand language—TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.

I have tried to live by this. Yes, I have fallen short on too many occasions, but I still continue to strive to treat others the way I want to be treated.

As I am deep into my 74th year as a resident of the greatest nation on earth, I often ask myself this question—How in the heck did we get to where we are today?

It saddens me to think that when I leave for my Forever Home, I will be leaving the world in a much worse place than was left for me by my predecessors. Even coming into the world and growing up after World War II wasn’t as bad as it is

today.

The level of hatred that is going on now greatly disturbs me. I guess that is because my generation was taught to be respectful, and that included respecting the Office of the President.

I grew up being offended by many things, but we didn’t make a national issue about it, we sucked it up and went on about it. Many times, these instances of being offended became learning experiences.

My generation was and still is able, for the most part, able to have a discussion where we may disagree, but is done in a respectful manner. Even though I may disagree with someone, I fully heartedly respect their right to their opinion.

I can never see myself insulting someone while they are enjoying a meal with their family. Throwing a drink in someone’s face because I don’t agree with them will never happen with me.

If I’m ever fortunate enough to become a business owner, I definitely will have the good sense to realize that members of both political parties spend their money at my business, or at least I hope they do. Lol. I would never refuse service to anyone because of politics. Money doesn’t say Republican or Democrat only on it.

I could list many things that are currently happening in America that I wouldn’t do or with which I don’t agree, but most Americans know exactly what I am talking about.

How did we get to this? Perhaps it was when mothers had to start working outside the home to help support the household. Perhaps it was when having children out of wedlock became the norm or when TV lost all their moral values. Or when people stopped being taught the things I was taught in school.

I believe the number one thing that contributed to our current downfall is removing God Almighty from everything. I know there are many who may disagree with that and I respect their right to disagree with me.

I also believe the overall lack of respect is because of one thing and one thing only— until we respect that person looking back at us from our mirror, we will never be able to respect anyone else.

What do we do to fix things in America? I think there are many simple solutions to these problems.

Stop trying to change our history by removing monuments. Learn from our history. Learn from our mistakes. Take personal responsibility for your actions. Learn to have self-respect which will result in respect for others. Treat others, regardless of their color, religion and political beliefs, the way you want to be treated. Approach everyone with a friendly word and a smile on your face.

These may seem like little things, but we have to start somewhere. Each of us must do our part to Make America Civilized Again.

Pray for America. Pray for each other. Pray extra hard for the haters.

Guila Jackson, Waxahachie