One of the strongest traits that define us as Americans is that restless discontent that pushes us to make our lives - and our country - better.
That trait spurred our industrial revolution. It drew our pioneer ancestors westward to explore and grow our borders and our bounty. It's the way of thinking that started our country - the desire of a few for a better life in a new world.
It's hard-wired in all Americans, at one level or another - not just to appreciate what we have, but to strive for something better, for everyone's benefit.
That trait sparked the civil rights movement led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
So today, while observing the birth of Dr. King, take a minute to reflect.
Opportunities have grown for everyone in the past 40-plus years since the civil rights movement. Improved educational opportunities. A wider variety of higher-paying jobs.
Freedoms that elevate quality of life.
Back in the turbulent 1960s, the order of the day was face-to-face confrontation. Today, it's shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation. Dr. King certainly didn't do it alone, but with his guiding hand, a nation of people who had sought every reason to cling to their differences discovered that they all wanted the same thing.
A better country. Better communities.
It's not hard to see an example of that legacy coming together on the Augusta Commission. The level-headed commissioners in our city government are proving incrementally that race-tainted politics isn't the fuel that will move Augusta forward.
It's unity. It's a shared sense of purpose.
It's the realization that if you're going to put
your shoulder to the wheel to effect positive change, it doesn't matter what color your
shoulder is, or what the color is of the shoulder next to you.
Dr. King's dream that he described in his famous 1963 speech, to a great extent, is a dream that we are living today.
Let us continue to build on it - together.