I have intentionally avoided writing about the bombings and what happened to our friend Martin on this blog, because I know many of my students read this, and many of those students are Martin’s friends and classmates. I guess I’ve been trying to avoid any more sad feelings for any of you – I wanted to give you time and space to process things on your own without me saying anything. I did receive an email last week though, in which someone wrote, “Miss Moo, how come you never talk about Martin? I keep waiting for you to say something about him. You’re always telling us to talk about how we’re feeling, but you stopped doing that with us.” When I read those words the first time, I literally couldn’t take my eyes off them. I realized that it was true…that maybe I wasn’t being completely honest because I wanted to guard you from feeling anymore sadness than necessary.
The truth is, not one day goes by that I haven’t thought about Martin – not one single day. Whenever I see a Pedroia shirt or a Bruins jersey, I think of him. When I run past the Savin Hill baseball fields or the flag football field, I think of Martin. When I run past his house or NHCS, I think of him. And sometimes – a lot of times – thoughts of him just pop into my head. And I miss him. A lot. And when I think of him, I think of all of my ahimsakas. Which means I think about all of you as much as I think about him…every single day.
When I think about all of you, I remember how you all wanted to become true ahimsakas and use peace to help “be the change” that Gandhi talked about. As I think about all of you, some new friends I met in August now come to mind. We met at conference (like a big meeting) in Nashville, and everyone there were organizers and activistst from all over the country, who are trying to bring justice to everyone who doesn’t have it, but they will only do it using nonviolence. They too, are ahimsakas, striving for peace and justice, and remembering that loving others is the only way that we can be the change we want to see in the world. When I think about Martin – and all of you – I think about these new friends of mine, because I think you would enjoy hearing about all of the ways they are trying to make the world a better place…they want to leave a place better than they found it. This is something I know was really important to Martin, and so when I miss him, I remember my friends around the country who are carrying out exactly what he would be doing if he was here.
I’m including a photo of the peace rally we held outside of city hall, so that my new friends can see who you all are. And I’m also including a photo of the friends I met in Nashville so you can see their faces. I hope one day you will be fortunate enough to cross paths. The community of ahimsakas is growing, and together we can carry Martin’s message of “No More Hurting People. Peace.”
This quote might speak to you and the amazing students who are reading your blog. It comes from the book, “With Hear and Heart: The Autobiography of Howard Thurman.” If your students don’t know who Howard Thurman is, he is one of the world’s greatest ahimsikas, educators, and civil rights leaders. He traveled to India 1935 and actually met Gandhi and learned directly from him and others about nonviolence. Thurman returned to the United States and helped instill the values, principles, and strategies of nonviolence in the Civil Rights Movement and became a mentor of Dr. King’s. Amazing person! Here is the quote (talking about his life as a young boy growing up).
“This was the way of life in our neighborhood. In sorrows, joys, good times and bad, this was the way we lived. We helped each other and we survived.”