For­mer MLK aide speaks at Dorch­ester prayer break­fast

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — The Dorch­ester Faith Al­liance hosted a prayer break­fast in ob­ser­vance of the Na­tional Day of Prayer on Thurs­day, May 5.

Rev­erend El­bert Ran­som Jr. served as the guest speaker. Ran­som was an aide and friend to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and par­tic­i­pated in some of the no­table events of the Civil Rights move­ment. He is an au­thor, pro­fes­sor and in­ter­na­tional lec­turer on the sub­jects of democ­racy and hu­man rights.

Ran­som spoke to at­ten­dees about how King’s mes­sage ap­plies to our world today.

“We are all hu­man be­ings, and we all come from the same iden­ti­cal source. We mi­grated through other ar­eas of the world, took on dif­fer­ent lan­guages and col­ors, and we think we’re dif­fer­ent. But we all seek the same thing,” he be­gan.

“Cam­bridge is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Amer­ica. You are not alone in your is­sues. Do not feel iso­lated. Peo­ple are peo­ple wher­ever you go. From my trav­els, I can say we do in fact have the best coun­try in this world. Peo­ple look to us for coun­sel and ad­vice on how to live in a democ­racy and move for­ward in a suc­cess­ful man­ner.”

Ran­som told the story of how he met King through church. He said King taught him a lot about the phi­los­o­phy of non­vi­o­lence. Since, he has ded­i­cated his life to im­prov­ing hu­man re­la­tions across the globe.

“We as hu­man be­ings, our lives are ad­justed and made in such a way that when we are struck in a vi­o­lent way by some­one, we im­me­di­ately strike back to put it down, so it never hap­pens again. So we’ve taught a les­son,” said Ran­som. “But he (King) said, ‘No, that is not what our Lord is about. We need to un­der­stand that if we be­lieve that God has made us in his im­age, all of us have God within us. When the en­emy comes upon us, we ap­peal to the God that is within that en­emy and there we have the be­gin­ning of peace.’ That all comes in the di­a­logue that comes in the in­ter­est of cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity of com­fort.”

To il­lus­trate the im­por­tance of non­vi­o­lence, Ran­som told the story of the Mont­gomery bus boy­cott, in which he took part.

“It made the point, and not a vi­o­lent act was taken,” he said.

In or­der to move for­ward, Ran­som said peo­ple need to take the time to get to know each other bet­ter. They must step out of their com­fort zone to learn why peo­ple be­have the way they do, why they speak dif­fer­ent lan­guages, why philoso­phies dif­fer and more, he said.

Of Cam­bridge, he said, “This will be a model com­mu­nity af­ter a while. I see enough faces of good­will.”

He urged ev­ery­one to ask him or her­self, “What can I as an in­di­vid­ual do bet­ter to en­hance re­la­tion­ships?”

Af­ter break­fast, a con­ver­sa­tion con­tin­ued about what can be done to solve the is­sues the area faces.

“This is a spe­cial, won­der­ful place, the kind of place that at­tracts peo­ple. There are a few things that could im­prove. We’ve been work­ing around a lot of these is­sues. There are cer­tain things that keep hold­ing us back,” said Ce­sar Gon­za­les, co-chair of DFA and pastor of Cam­bridge Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist Church. “It is time that we open up, and have con­ver­sa­tions that we must have. Dif­fi­cult but hon­est con­ver­sa­tions about what it takes to move this beau­ti­ful town for­ward. About what it takes to fi­nally ful­fill all the po­ten­tial that all of us see in this town.”

EL­BERT RAN­SOM, JR

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.