Saturday, May 14, 2005

Good book, better letter....

I read "Ethical Ambition; Living A Life of Meaning and Worth" by Derrick Bell last week for my book clubs. Liked the book a lot, particularly the chapters on relationships and spirituality. It's a fast read, and I don't think anyone can go through the text and not have their enthusiasm for advocacy renewed. But then....

A couple of times in the book Bell mentions meeting and working with Martin Luther King, Jr., and twice refers to King's "Letter From Birmingham Jail". I hadn't read the letter since college, and went back and looked at it again. Wow. If only our current political leaders could write like that; could express their positions, their desires, their dreams for our nation. I know I got more out of the reading this time, not only because I'm older, but also because I so much more appreciate well reasoned, well written pieces than I did in my twenties. And King's morals and ethics smack you in the face. Not a perfect man by any means, but I long for more leaders of his courage.

Reading the Letter also made me go back and think through my commitment to the things I believe in and advocate for, which is certainly a good exercise for everyone periodically.

If you have 30 minutes, it's well worth your time.

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