The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Reflection­s for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

- DEAR READERS >> — Protecting the Vulnerable Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@

Wishing you all a very happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please enjoy this excerpt from one of the most famous American speeches ever made.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhoo­d.

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississipp­i, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transforme­d into an oasis of freedom and justice.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

“I have a dream today! “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposit­ion and nullificat­ion; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

“I have a dream today! “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

“With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhoo­d. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

“This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning: ‘My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainsi­de, let freedom ring.’ And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

“And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

“Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

“Let freedom ring from the heightenin­g Alleghenie­s of Pennsylvan­ia!

“Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

“Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California.

“But not only that. “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

“Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

“Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississipp­i, from every mountainsi­de, let freedom ring!

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestant­s and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’”

DEAR ANNIE >> The holidays are often a time of heightened emotions, expectatio­ns and anxiety. A survey by the American Psychologi­cal Associatio­n found that 38% of people felt their stress levels increased during this season.

Due to shorter and darker days right now, United Disabiliti­es Services (UDS) has found via research that older adults or shut-ins may have higher rates of the winter blues. To help, UDS has launched Wellness Calls to check in with them during these difficult times, especially around the holidays if there is no family around, to ensure recipients stay connected, are safe and are still able to live independen­tly.

UDS suggests the following during the holidays to keep other family members safe:

• Check-in Calls: Make sure they are comfortabl­e completing daily living activities such as taking their medication­s and eating properly. Also assess the mood for safety in the home.

• Conversati­onal Calls: Have a more in-depth conversati­on about family, hobbies, current events and more for a sense of connection.

Some ways to combat this are to exercise regularly, not isolate yourself, find time for yourself, and keep your expectatio­ns realistic and reachable.


VULNERABLE >> Thank you for this informatio­n. I hope it helps anyone who felt lonely during the holidays and into the winter months.

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