"People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other." – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yesterday I hope you found ways to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s wisdom and messages of peace and hope. I can't recall an MLK Day when the spirit of his words and legacy have been needed so deeply by so many. "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend," King said, and I believe this wholeheartedly. I'm saddened to hear more and more from people, even within my Quaker community, that they're distancing from friends, family, and others because of differing political views. Why ever give the power to strangers, much less any politician, to come between you and people who would come to your side in an hour of need? There's no news anchor or politician coming to help you move, take you out for drinks after a heartbreak, bring you birthday cake, or share a photo album of your shared memories. Television news is a terrible spell with ulterior motives. These two sides of American viewpoints (as if there could ever be only two!) are perpetuated and skillfully siloed in social media, engineered to keep you in an echo chamber. Please, turn off the TV. Step away from social media. If you disagree politically with a loved one, ask yourself if that person would be there for you in other ways, when it truly matters. Can you love someone and agree that you have different political views? The truth has been perversely skewed in these tumultuous times, so let's look for larger truths with our loved ones. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." What does any of this have to do with travel? Maybe nothing, maybe everything. I've struggled these last two weeks to process what happened in Washington D.C., and revisiting the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this MLK Day was both a balm and a beacon. With vaccines rolling out and travel inquiries rolling in, I'm thinking ahead to the world we want to see as we reemerge. Will there be fewer trips together with family and friends because of politics? What a sorry thought! We need to share our lives more with each other, not less. "Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness," King said. These are such charged times, you may even feel triggered by this email. It should go without saying that I'm not sympathetic with extremists and lawlessness. The eventual way forward seems to me to involve the rest of us living in our country, states, communities, and families with each other, and Dr. King's messages really resonated with me this year, as I strive to stay hopeful for peace to prevail. "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood." I welcome all you fellow nonconformists here at Nine Muses Travel!
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